The Quick Report

10 Ways ‘Star Wars’ Is Different Now that Disney Owns It

Back in 2012, Disney purchased Lucasfilm and all of its intellectual properties from George Lucas for just over $4 billion. While Lucas himself kicks back and continues counting his money, Disney has gone on to make some of the highest-grossing films ever released using the Star Wars name. Here are ten ways the franchise is different now that Disney owns it.


Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm

The first thing Disney did when they bought the rights to Star Wars was jettison the Expanded Universe. That included things like novels, comic books, and video games that had been beloved by fans for decades. Now, those things are considered “Legends,” which means they have no bearing on the ongoing plot of the main films and shows.

Bringing Legends Back

Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm

While many fans were understandably upset about their favorite books and games becoming non-canon, Disney has taken some steps to return fan favorites to canon. For instance, Grand Admiral Thrawn was brought back in Rebels, while other characters have made cameos in games and TV shows.

TV Shows

Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm

Speaking of TV shows, Disney has really amped up the amount of televised Star Wars that’s out there. While the franchise had a few forays into animated TV before The Mandalorian blew everyone’s minds in 2019, it wasn’t until the Disney+ streaming shows hit the scene that Star Wars became a TV-first franchise.  

Expanding the Scope

Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm

Disney has expanded the scope of Star Wars dramatically since acquiring the rights to the franchise. The sequel trilogy finally moved the narrative beyond the end of Return of the Jedi, though many fans were upset it eschewed the Legends novels that explored Luke Skywalker’s adventures following the death of the Emperor.

Backwards in Time

Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm

Disney has also focused on an era called the High Republic, a period of relative success for the Jedi that took place around 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. While it’s not quite the Old Republic era that many longtime fans have wanted to see return, it offers Star Wars fanatics another fun era to see stories play out in.


Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm

George Lucas is an unmistakable genius. His singular vision is what allowed Star Wars to exist in the first place. However, he is infamously bad at writing screenplays in general and dialogue in particular. In the Disney era, the franchise has largely enjoyed much stronger screenwriting, from The Force Awakens to Andor.

Video Games

Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm | EA } Respawn

Star Wars used to be a big name in the world of video games, with beloved classics like Dark Forces and Star Wars: TIE Fighter putting unique sci-fi spins on beloved genres in the 90s. Disney has been working to put Star Wars back at the forefront of the gaming conversation, with big swings like Jedi: Fallen Order and its sequel, and the upcoming Star Wars: Outlaws.

Tabletop Games

Image Credit: Disney | Lucasfilm | Asmodee | Atomic Mass Games

Likewise, Star Wars had a few brushes with tabletop gaming before the Disney buyout—a few RPGs, miniature skirmish games, and card games popped up in the 90s. Lately, it’s a good time to be a Star Wars gamer, though, between card game Star Wars: Unlimited and miniatures games Legion and Shatterpoint.

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Theme Parks

a close up of a large metal object near a mountain
Photo by Josué AS

Star Wars had theme park rides in the past, but never its own entire themed wing of Disneyland. Galaxy’s Edge is a living, breathing Star Wars set, complete with costumed actors, lore-accurate locations, and the Millennium Falcon itself. This is undeniably awesome for fans of the franchise.

Read More: The 10 Most Glaring Plot Holes in the Star Wars Universe

There’s More… for Better or Worse

silhouette of people standing on field with fireworks
Photo by Alex McCarthy

Whether you love or hate all the new Star Wars properties since the Disney buyout, one thing is certain: there’s a lot more of it out there. Disney has easily more than doubled the amount of content out there for fans to chew on since it took the reins to the franchise, giving Star Wars aficionados plenty to talk about from now until the end of time.

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