Don't Count On Seeing Star Wars On Netflix

Hollywood is a lot smaller than it used to be. Judging by this year's record-setting box office performance, you may disagree with that statement, but I'm talking about the companies that control Hollywood. Most content is put out by a handful of massive corporations, with one of the biggest being Walt Disney. When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion, it gave the already formidable company the rights to all of the Star Wars movies. That same year, Disney closed a deal with Netflix giving the streaming service exclusive rights to their new releases starting in 2016. So, does this mean the Star Wars movies will be on Netflix?

Yes and no. According to the deal between the companies, Netflix gets first window rights to air Disney movies released in 2016 and beyond. That's why films like Zootopia and The Jungle Book have shown up on Netflix in recent months not long after they'd left theaters. Since the deal applies to Star Wars movies, too, the first one that will likely hit Netflix is Rogue One, since that is seeing release on December 16, 2016. Judging from current trends, it will probably then start streaming on Netflix by the end of summer 2017. But what about the rest of the Star Wars movies?

That's a more difficult question to answer. Last year, there seemed to be evidence that the classic films (and the prequels) were heading to Netflix thanks to some placeholder pages on the streaming site that were first reported by Exstreamist, but nothing ever came of it. Those placeholders are still up, by the way, and you can see the page for The Empire Strikes Back here. However, neither Netflix nor Disney has announced any plans to make these films (or The Force Awakens ) available to subscribers.

That could change, however, if Disney ends up buying Netflix; a possible deal that was rumored last month and detailed by Peter Csathy of TechCrunch. If the Mouse House does buy Netflix, then they could presumably put whatever kind of content they wanted on the service — including Star Wars.

With the exception of Rogue One, there are just rumors and speculation about the possibility of Star Wars movies coming to Netflix. For now, fans will have to make do with Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series and animated movie — both of which are now streaming.

Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Giphy