Disney has had a massive week. While some controversy has been arising thanks to business negotiations of a certain character they also had their biggest event of the year, the D23 Expo. The Fan Event to rival all fan events, which presented an unveiling of many of their upcoming projects, park expansions, and additions to their media empire. While this event covered the entire spectrum of Disney products, the content that made the biggest waves was their upcoming Streaming Service, Disney+. The brand new streaming service that is said to have all of their films and will be regularly adding content including original shows and films. At D23 they not only touched on the shows that they would be producing, but gave a lot of first looks and first official trailers. The geek news was dominated by this and rightfully so with a lot of attention being paid to the Marvel and Star Wars properties. These properties are massive draws to this service and I know many people who are willing to pay for Disney+ for that content alone, which is why I believe that Disney+ will greatly benefit both Marvel and Star Wars in the long run. With D23 over it is the perfect place to look at why this will be and what we hope to see in the future come about from all of this new streaming content.
Expansion of Their Universes
The thing that both Marvel and Star Wars share is incredibly vast and expansive Universes. They have both had multiple writers and talented people add to the lore. There are hundreds of iconic locations, characters, and themes that have yet to see crossover into the mainline films.
With Marvel properties there is a lot to pull from. When there is 80 years of comics and many different interpretations it is difficult for feature films to capture all that people want from their favorite property and that especially rings true with Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are so much untapped potential and story threads not explored in the films and so far the new Disney+ series seem to be giving fans more in universe content. While the MCU has had television series before, their connection to the main films was minimal at best. These new shows that include Wandavision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, She-Hulk, Loki, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, What if…, and the Hawkeye limited series are way more immediately connected to the films with the inclusion of actors from the films crossing over and continuing to be the lead role in these shows. That is a massive step up from their past, which often ignored what the shows were doing. This is an excellent way of expanding their film Universe to be a larger experience and explore the sides that haven’t been explored yet in creative ways that will have an impact on the films. These superheroes that often don’t get as much screen time will also be put in the center and it is extremely exciting to see how that could give more life to this incredibly wide cinematic universe.
With Star Wars, it is a chance to tell new types of stories in the Galaxy Far Far Away. While television and Star Wars have been common especially in the animated realm it has yet to have an expansion telling a darker tale in Live-Action. While Star Wars won’t have as many shows as Marvel it is apparent that the production value put into The Mandalorian is already beginning to show. It will also be fascinating seeing this show explore a new part of the Galaxy, which has yet to be explored. While films like Rogue One and Solo have expanded the universe, a longer running show can really do wonders to making it all feel more alive and broaden our understanding of Star Wars is as a whole. We will also be getting an Obi-Wan series at some point, which is a great opportunity to give more film characters space to grow. This streaming service is already showing that it can be used to expand upon existing concepts as well as new ones and give more meaning to the Star Wars franchise. I can’t wait to see what these new shows bring to the table.
More Creative Freedom
Streaming services are a fascinating avenue. They are completely independent so they make their own rules. Many streaming services don’t have to follow certain broadcast standards often giving shorter seasons with longer episodes and uncensored content. This has given us some of the best television of our time. There is so much creative freedom in that and visionaries have been able to tell unique stories that normally would be too risky for network television or feature films. I predict that Star Wars and Marvel will be able to creatively flourish under this sense of freedom.
The creativity present within both of these properties is limitless. These worlds have so much to pull from and to explore and any new element could fit in these easily moldable worlds. They both have quirky characters as well as darker ones that exist within a multitude of different planets. The films have to hit certain marks. They need to be more accessible, but these shows I’m assuming can dive deeper into the lore of their perspective worlds and the stories can go in places that you could never see in the films. The talent they can bring in could have a unique concept and the length of these shows can easily allow for so much greater nuance. This freedom can allow for Star Wars to hit darker notes or Marvel to get even crazier with their cosmic concepts. They can have the freedom to explore whatever creative idea will work best.
While Television was often looked down on for years because of its lower production cost and value, that has made a dramatic shift. Game of Thrones has given movie quality production to premium television. Shows are now just as good looking as film and that is often seen shown off in Streaming services. It’s so refreshing to see the same level of care to a series as films often get. This will be one of the definite staples for Disney+.
Marvel and Star Wars are visual properties. They deal with the fantastical on a regular basis and the shows will have to match what the films have done to an extent. If what we have seen from The Mandalorian is anything to go by the production value for these shows will be enough to make these shows look and feel like a legitimate extension. This legitimacy will greatly benefit these productions and both of these properties will have new avenues to show off their visuals and explore the deeply layered worlds. The visual effects already seem to be accurate as well as the gorgeous cinematography and use of practical effects. When care is put into the financial end of a production it often results in something that is worth enjoying and appreciating. While I can’t predict for certain that everything will look as good as The Mandalorian I can assume from Disney’s past that there will be a good amount of care to keeping this service feel closest to their most premium quality.
In addition to the visuals we are certain to get some incredible filmmakers and actors on board with these productions. It is already confirmed that the Marvel actors will reprise their roles not only in the previously mentioned shows, but also in the animated show, What If... That is huge that film actors will extend to these shows and there is quite a lot of extremely well known and respected people who have already been praised for their portrayals of these characters. Simultaneously Star Wars will have the return of Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is huge. The Mandalorian will also not only feature a great cast, but also excellent filmmakers like Taika Waititi and Jon Favreau working behind the scenes on episodes. This excellent assortment of talent is due to care being taking with the production to allow for this level of quality.
The production value of these shows will certainly be impressive to many who care about these franchises and I look forward to seeing where this will lead as this monster streaming service launches.
Disney+ has made waves for good reasons. They are bringing a lot to the table and it was incredibly smart of them to include both Marvel and Star Wars properties early on. That gives these die hard fans something to look forward to and in the end I think both franchises will benefit from it. It is promising a lot and if it even delivers a small part of what is promised then we will have something special on our hands with the worlds and characters that we love.