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Star Wars Is Making An Avengers Movie: Done Right, It Will Save The Franchise

This day was inevitable. Ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm and shattered records with "Avengers: Endgame," the two were bound to intersect. After an extended theatrical hiatus following the "The Rise of Skywalker," "Star Wars" is returning to cinemas with three distinct films. One will follow Rey (Daisy Ridley) 15 years after the sequel trilogy, another will explore the origins of the Jedi, and the third, directed by Dave Filoni, will be an "Avengers" movie.

Let's qualify that statement a bit. Per the official announcement from Lucasfilm, Filoni's movie will serve as a big-screen climax for all the New Republic era Disney+ series. That streaming franchise began with "The Mandalorian," and it's since expanded to include "The Book of Boba Fett" and the upcoming shows "Ahsoka" and "Skeleton Crew." Filoni has had his hands in all of these projects to some degree and helmed "Ahsoka" personally. Many of these shows deal directly with storylines he began in the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels."

Few plot details have been revealed for Filoni's film, and there is no release date attached as of yet. But given the direction that the Disney+ shows have taken, it's not hard to imagine what the movie might look like. Done right, it could be the greatest "Star Wars" crossover ever. Done perfectly, it could save the franchise.

Dave Filoni's film can bring order to a chaotic era for Star Wars

The years since "The Rise of Skywalker" may go down as some of the strangest in the history of "Star Wars." This movie-less, streaming-centric era has seen some huge hits, like "The Mandalorian" Season 1 and the tremendous achievement that is "Andor." However, it's also brought confusion, division, and some abject bombs. "Obi-Wan Kenobi" was a shadow of what it could have been, and "The Book of Boba Fett" fell flat.

Not all of those shows are part of the "Mandalorian" era, so not all of them will factor into Filoni's impending film. Even so, the movie has a real chance to tie this bizarre "Star Wars" chapter together in a satisfying and cohesive way. "The Mandalorian" has suffered in its later seasons by spending too much time setting up other shows. Seeing Ahsoka and Boba Fett is all well and good, but cameos have tainted the purity of what the series originally was.

But if the new movie can really be an "Avengers" crossover for all of these disparate threads, fans might not really mind the bumpy road that brought them there. It could make the Disney+ franchise a proper "Star Wars" chapter, equivalent to any one of the three main film trilogies. And we've seen that with enough time and quality reparative work, "Star Wars" stories once thought insufferable can become fan favorites. It worked for the prequels!

Phase 4 of the MCU has demonstrated just how badly cinematic universes need climaxes. Without a clear end goal, Marvel's recent outings have floundered and failed to find their footing. Yet even the lamest Phase 2 movies are made relevant by "Infinity War" and "Endgame." Under Filoni's veteran leadership, "Star Wars" has a chance to do the same for its Disney+ era.

How Filoni's Star Wars movie can avoid the MCU's pitfalls

Giving Dave Filoni his own "Star Wars" movie to direct seems like a no-brainer after all he's contributed to the franchise. However, he alone is not enough to guarantee success. As described by Lucasfilm, the crossover will have a lot of traps to avoid on the road to release. If it gets through unscathed, the sky's the limit.

The biggest issue facing the project is the one that faces every major crossover: What about all the audience members who haven't seen the preliminary pieces? Part of why "Star Wars" has struggled since "The Rise of Skywalker" is the inconsistency of Disney+ viewers. When your franchise is just a movie every year or two, it's easy for casual fans to keep up. But as Marvel has discovered in more recent years, people will fall off when every other month brings a new streaming series. The circle of "Star Wars" fans who've watched every Disney+ show is a tiny fraction of the overall fan base. That makes Filoni's big-screen crossover a big risk.

Still, there is precedent for such a project to go smoothly. You didn't need to see "Ant-Man," "Doctor Strange," or "Captain Marvel" to enjoy "Endgame." You only needed a general understanding of the story and a direct connection to a couple of key characters. Good writing can always make up for the stories people have missed. Filoni's movie might not be the best pick to bring "Star Wars" back to theaters, but since "The Mandalorian" already has at least one more season on the way, that probably won't be a problem.

Star Wars needs to be fun again, and this is the perfect chance

"Star Wars" has always thrived on the dual nature of its fandom. Like chess, it's easy to learn but hard to master. The best movies can be fully enjoyed by casual viewers who just want a fun sci-fi adventure. At the same time, there are always deeper layers to explore for those who want more.

Recently, the franchise has relied too heavily on the latter part of the fandom. The Disney+ series are plagued by too many cameos, callbacks, weird references, and disturbing de-aging CGI. You might think that an "Avengers"-style crossover would be another step in that direction, but not if it's done right. Quite the contrary, this is Lucasfilm's chance to make "Star Wars" fun again and forget about the rest.

Because the "Mandalorian" universe stretches all the way back to "The Clone Wars," most fans are bound to know part of it. They'll know Ahsoka, or Din and Grogu, or at least Boba Fett, who's bound to show up. Fans of the old Expanded Universe will know Grand Admiral Thrawn, who's the perfect Thanos-style villain now that he's coming back in "Ahsoka." Even deepfake Muppet Luke Skywalker could work on the big screen, provided they don't zoom in on his face too much. But a movie with all of these characters together with a proper Disney budget? That has incredible promise.

There are plenty of potential pitfalls. With luck, we'll get no morally deplorable instances of actors being brought back from the dead. If Filoni can just keep the ship on course, this could be the movie we've been waiting for. At the end of the day, "Star Wars" is a theatrical spectacle, and what's a bigger spectacle than the Avengers?