When Disney launches its streaming service next year, don’t expect to be able to stream all of Disney’s biggest franchises, including Star Wars.
Among the streaming service’s offerings, fans will get a brand new live-action Star Wars series from Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau, which is rumored to take place three years after the events of Return of the Jedi. However, those hoping to stream most of the franchise’s films will find that they’ll be missing from the service — at least, at first.
Due to prior licensing deals, Disney’s initial offerings will pale in comparison to those of Netflix. This, as Disney CEO Bob Iger noted, will be reflected in the price. So, while Disney is currently working on projects meant specifically for the streaming service, including an adaption of the novel Stargirl, the streaming service will make sure that fans understand Star Wars films released prior to 2019 will be unavailable. “The marketing will make clear that it’s not going to be on there,” Iger promised, per Variety. “But Star Wars movies that come out in 2019 and later, you’ll find them there.”
Like with its Marvel films, Disney had previously licensed the streaming rights for its Star Wars titles, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Those films will remain on Netflix until the licensing deal expires between Disney and the streaming giant. As Disney hasn’t renewed its streaming deal with Netflix, though, Star Wars: Episode IX will hit the streaming service following its home release in 2020.
A recent report implied that Disney was in talks to reacquire the cable rights for the original trilogy and the prequels. However, those deals are not yet set to expire until 2024 and could end up costing Disney a substantial amount of money in order to satisfy AT&T-owned Turner Broadcasting’s financial demands.
Directed by JJ Abrams, Star Wars: Episode IX stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. It is scheduled to open on December 20, 2019.
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