Disney's Streaming Service May Not Offer The Original Star Wars Movies

Tabitha Dunn
August 8, 2018

The deal not only encompasses the Original Trilogy from 1977-1983 and Prequel Trilogy from 1999-2005, but also the current films from the Disney years (Force Awakens, Last Jedi, Rogue One, Solo) up-to and including anything now in production through 2024. This is because several years ago, Disney sold the TV rights to those movies to AT&T's Turner Broadcasting. Disney sold the original Star Wars trilogy's streaming rights to Turner back in 2016, and talks to buy them back haven't proved fruitful thus far, meaning Disney may be forced to wait until the deal expires in 2024. They are also reporting that part of the deal would have to include unnamed programming to replace the lost content.

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It's not clear if the issue here is regaining streaming rights to the prequels and original trilogy (which Turner may have some exclusive rights over) or if Disney merely wants to limit where else you can see these movies in order to solidify their streaming service. Obviously, Disney would love to offer Star Wars upon launch of its streaming service as an added incentive to buyers. For starters, Disney has developed its own streaming service that is set to launch sometime in 2019 and will serve as an all-in-one package with titles from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. I can't tell you, but if I had to guess I'd say they want people to watch the movies on their cable stations. Netflix has attracted more than 130 million customers by using popular TV shows and movies from other companies. Netflix has the rights to new releases like The Force Awakens and Rogue One, but not the older films and Disney doesn't plan to renew that deal.

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