The Dangers of the Yearly ‘Star Wars’ Movies Creating Overexposure: A New Era of Franchise Excess?

Yahoo Contributor Network

For many people, it may sound satisfying knowing a "Star Wars" film in some shape or form will be released to theaters every year starting in 2015. And perhaps going that unprecedented route in sci-fi filmmaking is necessary today to satiate those who want things in the now rather than savoring it later. No matter how it's analyzed, though, having "Star Wars" every year is equivalent to having martinis and caviar at an expensive party every night without any time for recovery.

In that regard, Lucasfilm and Disney working in tandem may be treading on ground they've never gone, despite the supposedly assured investment returns. It's the type of Hollywood precedent that can easily bite back once something as revered as "Star Wars" becomes taken for granted. Unless all those upcoming films can be done well, having at least one or two not doing well can easily harm the abstract excitement the franchise currently holds.

Most people who grew up with "Star Wars" as I did remember that the three-year waits in-between the movies was well worth it. Enough merchandise and fan speculation took place during those years to create plenty of intrigue in what the next movie would show us. The excitement of seeing the first follow-up "The Empire Strikes Back", especially, was one that set most of our minds to accept and appreciate multi-year waits.

But many people can't deal with time like that in the 21st century. With so many entertainment options, if a product can't get out sooner, public and production frustration sets in. Fortunately, the anticipation for "Star Wars: Episode VII" will be so intense in the next couple of years, it won't matter how long it takes to get made. It's the movies afterward that have the unfortunate reality of being in the "Ep VII" shadow.

It just doesn't seem possible the other, new "Star Wars" movies made in that quick of succession can be true events as was the case with the original trilogy. Hollywood has tried the assembly line approach to filmmaking before to hurry release times, and failure still reigns in the lack of time for quality. Lucasfilm would have to set up a super production team unlike any seen before to make each film be a winner.

That may be the intention, even though it's clear the scripts won't have decent editing time for the dialogue to be as sharp as the CGI obviously will be. There's also the largest problem mentioned above: Taking a franchise for granted. Once "Star Wars" consumes theaters annually for five years, fans may be simply worn out.

Such a thing already happened to the "Star Trek" movie and TV franchise until J.J. Abrams gave it a new shot in the arm. Regardless, it may eventually dwindle again once "Star Trek Into Darkness" is out and the ideas of where to go later become slightly stagnant. Some might say that the "Star Wars" franchise can't get that way because of its endless well of characters in a vast universe.

Keep in mind the outside stories and characters are probably only of interest to the most die-hard fans, which aren't necessarily the majority. In this day and age of expecting much more than $100 million at the box office to be successful, it may mean a slowdown of "Star Wars" movies eventually once reality hits.

It's either that or we'll see a strong wave of other, yearly franchises with production parlance beginning the phrase "may the franchise be with you."

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