Editors' Choice

Disney’s New Streaming Service Wants Star Wars Back

Jonathan Tao / August 10, 2018

Disney really wants the Star Wars movies back for their new streaming service.

According to reports, the entertainment behemoth recently approached Turner Broadcasting to buy back the rights to the Star Wars movies. Disney sold the U.S. programming rights for Star Wars to Turner in 2016, including the legendary original movies and Disney’s new titles, including The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo—with more on the way. Turner has the right to broadcast the films on their cable networks, including TBS and TNT. Turner paid approximately $275 million for eight years of broadcasting. Now, Disney wants them back.

Walt Disney Entertainment is planning an untitled streaming service that will include film and television from Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. The company has announced plans for a $100-million live-action Star Wars series, set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and another season for the animated Clone Wars. It would be strange to launch a new Star Wars show without access to the original films or the sequels that will bookend the series.

Disney has selected Ricky Strauss, president of marketing for Walt Disney Studios, to head up the company’s new streaming service. Strauss will have to untangle the media giant’s web of licensing deals with other companies and networks, including clawing back content from Netflix and Turner Broadcasting. We’re sure that Disney wants to launch a comprehensive service that provides sole access to the company’s most lucrative films. But if they want the movies, sources indicate that Turner wants compensation—and replacement content.

Strauss has his work cut out for him.