Star Trek needs to heed the warnings of Andor.
Experts believe that Andor, at least according to the trackable variables people have, has flopped over at Disney+. Maybe “flopped” is too hard of a word, but even the Andor showrunner, Tony Gilroy, was surprised at the lack of an audience for the show, telling Variety;
"I think I was surprised. I thought the show would have this gigantic, instantaneous audience that would just be everywhere, but that it would take forever for non-‘Star Wars people or critics or my cohorts of friends to get involved in the show. The opposite happened. We ended up with all this critical praise, all this deep appreciation and undesttanding from a really surprising number of sources, and we’re chasing the audience."
Chasing the audience? Never a good sign for a hotly anticipated, highly marketed sequel, to one of Star Wars’ better outings of the modern era. Now, quality has dipped, and the Star Wars films have been largely panned as being unoriginal, convoluted, or the dreaded trope of “subverting expectations.”
The best of the tropes. I know when I go to a steak house, I’m really glad my expectations were subverted to getting a piece of semi-cooked fish. Really got me there.
Star Wars’ quality is up for debate but the fact that there is should tell you all you need to know about its quality. Yet, that isn’t the No. 1 issue with the franchise. No, see, The Fast and The Furious franchise isn’t, let’s say great, and they keep making money. So if they can do it, certainly a bigger franchise like Star Wars can excel, right?
Well, here’s the big difference; Despite feeling like Fast and the Furious has 200 movies in 20 years, they don’t. They have like 7 or something. Star Wars, on the other hand, is in fact oversaturated. Since 2017, Disney has released or put in production 21 shows, ranging from full-length live-action to shorts.
On top of that, they also have had five stand-alone films. That’s a lot. We’re seeing the same fatigue take hold of the MCU.
Star Trek is heading into the same space.
Star Trek needs to stop over-saturating a limited market and expand its offerings
The current ethos of Star Trek is “more is better”, so we have five shows that are in development or just wrapping development at the same time. Five. Five, whole shows; Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds.
We’re also expecting a fourth film in the Kelvin timeline, and two more other shows that are in early development as we speak.
Franchise fatigue will come for Star Trek, as it has before in a much-less media-driven era. Star Trek got 20 years before fatigue set in the last time, but they won’t get that long now. Back in 2005, when Enterprise was canceled, you had at best 60 cable channels per house at the high end.
The options were limited, and you only really had a few movie channels, and whatever was in your local Blockbuster as competition. Now, you have an unquantifiable amount of content on YouTube alone, not to mention hundreds of thousands of hours on Netflix alone, plus the other six bajillion other streaming services.
There’s too much competition. The franchise concept of even just a decade ago no longer works. Things get burned up, ran through, and exploited to the point fans move on far faster. Star Trek has some really good shows they’re offering but if they keep expanding the pallet, all they’re going to do is give fans too much.
When someone is given too much of anything, what happens? They lose interest.
Media juggernauts have forgotten the number one rule of show business; leave them wanting more. If Star Trek doesn’t look over its shoulder at Star Wars and see what is happening with Andor, they’re going to suffer the same fate; a bunch of expensive and possibly good shows, that no one is watching.