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A SpiderVerse Style Animated Movie Could Save the Star Wars Franchise


by extreme hd iptv

In the decade since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in the early 2010s, the Star Wars franchise has experienced expansion through a growing number of avenues. The films were continued with both the sequel trilogy – Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker – as well as new spin-off movies like Rogue One and Solo.

There has been the introduction of Disney+, which has allowed for the output of live-action Star Wars shows ranging from The Mandalorian to Andor, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan Kenobi and more. On top of that, the animated side of the franchise has also experienced new life, with shows like Rebels, The Bad Batch and Visions. That’s not even to mention the countless new canon novels, comics and video games.

However, there’s one specific method of storytelling that the Star Wars franchise has steered clear of over the last decade: animated films. Although Disney is a company that was built on the strength of its animation, the studio has yet to produce a new Star Wars animated film. At this point, such a film could be exactly what Star Wars needs. The franchise has been struggling more and more each year, and animation is currently undergoing a modern renaissance of sorts, as Western audiences are beginning to view the medium less as an avenue for children’s entertainment and more as a legitimate and infinitely creative way of telling a story.

The Success of Films like Spider-Verse and Puss in Boots

In the last few years, there have been a handful of animated films that have been major hits at the box office. On top of the usual fare from Illumination with The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Minions: The Rise of Gru, more experimental animated features like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish have made major impacts at the box office.

This is on top of the growing popularity of anime in North America and worldwide, giving films like Demon Slayer: Mugen Train and Suzume enough fuel to reach global grosses of $500 million and $300 million, respectively. Additionally, the latest Studio Ghibli release, The Boy and the Heron, has become the highest-grossing release ever from the studio in North America, pulling in over twice what Ponyo and The Secret World of Arrietty had and over four times the gross of Spirited Away.

More Major Franchises are Embracing Animation

This increasing success in animation has led more and more major franchises to embrace the medium. This trend was first led by Sony, which developed and released Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018, which has gone on to become one of the most popular and influential animated features of the last decade. Then, this last year saw TMNT enter the arena with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, which became one of the most universally praised films in the series to date.

This trend will continue in 2024, as both Transformers and The Lord of the Rings are releasing high-profile animated films – Transformers One is set to hit theaters in September, while The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim will debut in December. Even Marvel Studios has recently embraced animation with shows like What If…?, X-Men ’97, and Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, though it has yet to make the jump to animated features.

Related: Star Wars: 6 Reasons Why the Franchise Needs a Luke Skywalker Animated Series

Star Wars’ History with Animation in Rebels, Clone Wars and More

If Star Wars were to become the latest franchise to embrace this trend and produce an animated film of its own, that change would not be out of nowhere. The Star Wars series not only has a history of producing solid animated shows, but many fans would consider the output of animated shows to be the most consistently great aspect of the franchise.

Shows like The Clone Wars and Rebels have developed a new generation of die-hard Star Wars fans, who have continued to follow the franchise with shows like Tales of the Jedi, Visions and The Bad Batch – which debuts its final season next month. This all follows a handful of other animated Star Wars projects from the early 2000s and prior; most notably is Genndy Tartakovsky’s short Clone Wars series, which ran from 2003 to 2005, and still has a passionate fan base today.

The Failed Clone Wars Pilot Film

Of course, we can’t discuss the potential of an animated Star Wars film without discussing 2008’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the franchise’s first foray into producing an animated feature. Needless to say, that film did not go over well. It was panned by critics, and it remains the lowest-grossing Star Wars film to date, failing to bring in even $70 million worldwide.

With all of that said, that film’s failures are the result of a lot of factors; one of the most crucial is that it was not even intended to be a movie, as it was just the first few episodes of Dave Filoni’s The Clone Wars animated show that were slapped together and released in theaters a few months ahead of the show’s debut. On top of that, 3D animation has come a long way since 2008, and the quality of both the visuals and the stories that Star Wars produces through the animation have become infinitely better in that time.

Star Wars Stories That Would Benefit from Animation

There are endless possibilities for what kinds of stories can be told through animation. The animated Star Wars shows have already proven this to be true, as they have frequently embraced the more mythological and fantasy-oriented side of the franchise. A new animated feature from the galaxy far, far away could take this approach and introduce some of the crazier aspects of the franchise to a broader audience.

This could range from previously seen characters like the Bendu, a mystical being that represents and embraces the balance of the Force, or the Mortis Gods, deities that bind the Force together. To go even further, some of the wilder ideas from the discarded Legends stories could be brought into the fold, such as the Yuuzhan Vong, a zombie-like species that invades the known Star Wars galaxy.

An Animated Film Could Introduce a New Star Wars Era

Alternatively, an animated film would be the perfect opportunity to establish a new corner of the Star Wars universe with its own atmosphere and flavor. The franchise already has a consistent tendency to jump around in its timeline, and an animated film could explore an era of the galaxy’s history that has yet to be seen on-screen. This could be an era like The High Republic, which will be seen in its waning years in the upcoming live-action series The Acolyte.

Or, perhaps more interestingly, it could finally bring the stories of the Old Republic into the modern Star Wars canon. Characters like Revan, Darth Malak and Darth Bane have been fan-favorites for decades now, and it’s surprising that they haven’t been more clearly brought to life in the current iteration of the franchise. An animated Old Republic film could finally make that happen.

Related: Star Wars: What Is The High Republic

The Franchise Is Struggling to Keep Fans Interested

The current state of the Star Wars franchise is far from dire, though it’s impossible to ignore that it’s not as universally exciting as it used to be. While part of the reason for this is the increased output of live-action stories, with a new film or Disney+ series having been released almost every year since The Force Awakens debuted in 2015, we would argue that the franchise’s lack of innovation and new ideas has played a larger role in its decline.

The new Star Wars films divided audiences and generally disappointed many fans with the lackluster conclusion of The Rise of Skywalker, while Disney+ has overwhelmed viewers with too much mid-tier material to keep excitement up.

An Ambitious, New Animated Feature Might Pique Audience Interest

While it might not be the only solution to Star Wars’ problems, we believe that a major animated film set within the Star Wars galaxy could do a lot of good for the franchise. The shift in medium, especially amid the success of films like Spider-Verse, would certainly spark conversation, and introducing an exciting new era and story could garner the film even more attention.

On top of that, shows like The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch have already shown that Star Wars can produce truly outstanding visuals through animation. Many of the franchise’s most beautiful shots have been in its animated shows, and getting to experience that on a cinematic scale would make for a can’t-miss event.

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