‘Star Wars’ May Replace the Mando-Verse Next Year, Amid Criticism of Disney+ Shows

in Star Wars

Luke Skywalker screaming at Darth Vader's revelation in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Credit: Lucasfilm

A long time ago, Star Wars could do no wrong. Long before the days of the Prequel Trilogy, of course, which, despite having been “forgiven” by fans in recent years, were just as hated in the years they were being released in theaters (1999 — 2005) as the Sequel Trilogy.

A lot has happened in the franchise since then. In 2012, Disney purchased Lucasfilm for a staggering number of Galactic Credits. Three years later, fans finally got the first installment in the long-awaited Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015).

Rey screaming Chewie in 'The Rise of Skywalker'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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“A new hope” had galvanized the fanbase, despite many feeling the film was a cut-and-paste re-tread of Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977). Oh, how we miss the days when a Star Wars movie feeling too formulaic and derivative was the biggest complaint.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) reignited confidence in Disney and Lucasfilm even more, but all hope was quickly squandered by Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017), a film so damaging the franchise has yet to fully recover.

Rey and Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The final installment in the Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019), made matters worse. Fans lost faith in Disney and Lucasfilm, with many swearing to never buy into another installment from Disney’s version of the faraway galaxy ever again.

That was until The Mandalorian (2019) arrived on Disney+. The first-ever live-action television series in the franchise “saved Star Wars,” introducing fresh new characters in Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu, AKA Baby Yoda, while paving the way for the “Mando-Verse.”

The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu in the N1 Starfighter in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Season 2 soon arrived and featured many cameos from characters such as Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and R2-D2. The franchise was back on track, and nothing could stand in its way.

And then The Book of Boba Fett (2021) happened, and the franchise fell face-first into a Sarlacc Pit faster than you can say “Dang Farrik.” And like Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), it emerged from that pit a completely different entity, a joke of its former-self, if you will.

Boba Fett's Helmet in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Since then, the franchise has tumbled helplessly downhill like a flailing buffoon (AKA Jar Jar-ing), with subsequent Disney+ shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) and The Mandalorian Season 3 doing just as much damage to the brand as the reviled Sequel Trilogy.

Even Ahsoka (2023), the show many fans decided would be the next thing to “save Star Wars,” was about as exciting as watching Luke Skywalker drink blue milk from the teats of an alien sea cow, a horrifying image we’re yet to erase from our collective consciousness.

Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano in 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It seems only the animated side of the faraway galaxy is worth watching. The likes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 — 2020), Star Wars: Rebels (2014 — 2018), and Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (2022).

But even some of those once-beloved shows have been dragged down by their live-action follow-ups (yes, we’re looking at you, Ahsoka). Of course, just like a franchise is never immune to catastrophic failure, it is also not beyond repair.

Ahsoka and Rex in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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As the years, decades, perhaps even centuries go by (Disney shows no signs of slowing things down, despite a barrage of negative feedback from fans, otherwise known as the paying customer), the franchise will likely go through even more peaks and troughs.

One day, future humans will probably tell stories to their children, which will start along the lines of, “A long time ago, in a galaxy not too far away…” But we’re getting far too ahead of ourselves. Our point is that we suspect another one of those “peaks” is about to happen.

Ahsoka fighting Baylon Skoll in episode four of 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Next year, Star Wars Outlaws (2024) will finally arrive. We know what you’re thinking: how can an open-world video game “save Star Wars?” But hear us out. Let’s look at what’s been happening with the Harry Potter franchise over the past few years.

In many ways, the Fantastic Beasts trilogy mirrors the problems of the Sequel Trilogy almost symmetrically. Like The Force Awakens, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) was a promising start, reminding fans that the franchise still had plenty of magic left. Sadly, the series turned out to be about as magical as Filch.

Kay Vess and Nix running in 'Star Wars Outlaws'
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm Games

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) became The Last Jedi of the series, a nonsensical sequel that squandered any hope its predecessor had inspired. Sure, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022) can hardly be compared to the total travesty that is The Rise of Skywalker, but it still killed the series faster than Cedric Diggory, even if director David Yates, who has helmed every Wizarding World film since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), recently said that Fantastic Beasts has been “parked” for the time being.

Like its galactic counterpart, Fantastic Beasts left the franchise in disarray, while controversies surrounding Ezra Miller, Johnny Depp, and JK Rowling didn’t help matters. But earlier this year, the open-world game Hogwarts Legacy (2023), despite leaving a wake of dark magic in its tracks with many fans boycotting it due to its connections with JK Rowling, put the Wizarding World back on the map.

Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the rally in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'
Credit: Warner Bros.

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Although it sold 15 million copies worldwide and stormed the gaming charts, it turns out Hogwarts Legacy isn’t quite the magical Wizarding World experience we hoped for. It’s glitchy, the NPCs (non-playable characters) are terrible, and overall it’s somewhat… vanilla.

Nevertheless, it’s still relatively fun, and it certainly hasn’t done the Harry Potter brand any harm. And now there are rumors of Hogwarts Legacy 2, while the online multiplayer game Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions (TBA) is currently in development.

A student getting sorted in 'Hogwarts Legacy'
Credit: Warner Bros.

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But the most notable Harry Potter project currently in the works is, of course, the Harry Potter reboot, a television series that’s heading for HBO. We’re not suggesting that Outlaws will lead to a reboot of the franchise — after all, as far as we know, Hogwarts Legacy is not the reason Harry Potter is going under the knife — but the game could still be of some use in remedying the damage caused by the Disney+ shows.

In the same way that Hogwarts Legacy has essentially “replaced” the Fantastic Beasts, acting as a new prequel to the Harry Potter era, Outlaws may have a similar effect on the Mando-Verse television shows, especially if it spawns a bunch of sequels.

A shot of the landscape in 'Star Wars Outlaws'
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm Games

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While Outlaws takes place during the Original Trilogy — between Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983), to be precise — that’s only six years or so before The Mandalorian timeline begins.

Now that fans are feeling disenfranchised with the Mando-Verse, just two years after it was wowing audiences left and right, they may turn to another corner of the faraway galaxy; in this case, video games. And what better title to capture our attention than an open-world Star Wars game?

A shot of Tatooine at sunset in 'Star Wars Outlaws'
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm Games

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Per Ubisoft, here’s the synopsis for Outlaws:

Experience the first-ever open-world Star Wars game, set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Explore distinct planets across the galaxy, both iconic and new. Risk it all as Kay Vess, a scoundrel seeking freedom and the means to start a new life, along with her companion Nix. Fight, steal, and outwit your way through the galaxy’s crime syndicates as you join the galaxy’s most wanted.

If you’re willing to take the risk, the galaxy is full of opportunity.

Check out the trailer for Outlaws below:

Check out the behind-the-scenes featurette unveiled at this year’s San Diego Comic Con and the official gameplay walkthrough below:

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Releases Footage for Epic “In-Between-Quel” Coming in 2024

Outlaws will be released on PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2024.

Are you more interested in Outlaws than the Mando-Verse these days? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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