In the midst of all the excitement over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Disney snuck something past us that no one was expecting: A Star Wars TV series.
Variety reports that during the company's quarterly earnings call, Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger announced that a new Star Wars film trilogy is in the works from Rian Johnson, and after all the applause from fan boys died down, said an additional live-action TV series is being developed for Disney's upcoming entertainment streaming service, which is expected to launch by the end of 2019. Disney also mentioned plans for a Monsters Inc. series, a High School Musical series, and an original series from Marvel, which Disney bought in 2009.
There's no news on who, what, or where this new TV series will focus, but it's probably safe to say it won't feature any of the big names of the franchise like Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) or General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), since those characters belong to the film franchise. It's more likely that this new series will feature a distinct conflict or culture mentioned in the films, in the same avenue as Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels.
The strategy here is reminiscent of what CBS did with its streaming service CBS All Access. As CBS owned the rights to the valuable Star Trek name, it launched Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access to bring in subscribers, and it worked. Slightly related, Amazon is in talks to develop a Lord of the Rings series for its streaming service.