In the fallout from Solo’s lukewarm reception, the Star Wars franchise is looking at a corporate strategy overhaul. Standalones are being reconsidered while rumors of more drastic measures are spreading like wildfire among industry veterans. That means that for every nugget of knowledge straight from Disney HQ, there are lots of unconfirmed, speculative peeks behind a not-entirely-accurate curtain.
So take many of these stories with a grain of salt, no matter how plausible. Yet, sometimes reports make too much business sense to dismiss wholesale. According to a source that The Playlist itself acknowledged as sounding “dubious” at the time, Star Wars’ standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi film was never heading for theaters anyways, but was being saved for Disney’s premium streaming service.
Unconfirmed as this may be, it lines up with what we know about Disney’s planned Netflix-killer. We already knew that the service was going to have one live-action Star Wars show and another, secretive Star Wars project. That could be Obi-Wan.
This might be Disney’s move following in Netflix’s footsteps. The latter amped production on exclusive, larger-scale films (Bright, Cloverfield Paradox) and Disney may want to make its streaming library sparkle with something people can’t get anywhere else: Star Wars.
Disney has already been trying to acquire Fox’s giant film library for their streaming service, so fleshing out digital movie offerings is a company priority — it just might also see some maneuvers to keep that production in-house with a Star Wars spin-off.
While this report is unconfirmed, it makes quite a bit of sense. The A-list sequels could be kept as the kind of tentpole theatrical releases that have wowed theatrical audiences in the past, while the universe-expanding side stories could be produced, marketed, and distributed on a smaller scale. People are still going to watch every Star Wars, after all.