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The MCU Should Have Copied Star Wars' Hiatus After Rise Of Skywalker's Failure

Lucasfilm took a hiatus from making movies after the relative failure of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and the MCU should have done the same after Avengers: Endgame. Endgame came out in 2019 to monumental success, but both of Marvel's follow-up films received fairly lukewarm receptions. Even two years later, Black Widow opened to a generally muted response from audiences. Despite the fact that Endgame was widely considered an absolute triumph, the MCU would have benefitted from copying Star Wars and taking a break from filmmaking for a while.

The finale of the Skywalker saga received mixed reviews from the fanbase mainly due to its continuity issues, last-minute attempts at forced storytelling, and overall disjointed feel. While some fans still enjoyed it, most couldn't ignore the numerous plot holes and a sense of incoherence relative to the rest of the trilogy. Rise of Skywalker basically ignored any lessons that the characters or audience learned in the two previous installments. It came under enough criticism that the franchise placed its movie-making on hold and decided to produce a number of TV series instead. They also announced that the focus of Star Wars storytelling would be shifting to an entirely different era of the universe, which had been previously unexplored. The damage control seemed to work, and Star Wars fans are enjoying the TV shows as well as books focusing on the High Republic.

Related: Marvel Has Released An Official MCU Timeline

The MCU should have followed Star Wars' example and taken a hiatus after Endgame, but for very different reasons. For Lucasfilm, the break from films and focus on Star Wars TV shows was necessary because of its last movie's lackluster performance, but the reasoning is the opposite for the MCU: the franchise would have benefitted from an interval after Endgame because it was such a fantastic finale that heavily impacted its fans, and the audience could have used more time to let everything sink in. It's hard to follow up such a massive success, especially because it was literally years in the making.

Since Endgame came out in 2019, Marvel has released two movies with many more in the works. The problem is that Endgame was the culmination of 11 years and 21 movies worth of rooting for these heroes, and the losses hit audiences hard. They witnessed the demise of beloved characters like Natasha Romanoff, and the climax of Endgame featured the death of Tony Stark, the hero who began the whole franchise. With such a monument film, fans would have benefitted from a cool-down period to process the significant events of the movie, particularly the deaths. Instead, Marvel came out with Spider-Man: Far from Home the same year. Black Widow was the next release, and although it didn't hit theaters until 2021, the gap was a result of the pandemic delaying production, not any deliberate hiatus (it was originally scheduled to release in May 2020). Despite the time in between the movies, audiences still did not seem ready for a film focusing on their lost heroine, and many felt that Black Widow wasn't a proper tribute to Natasha Romanoff.

Although viewers would have benefitted from more of a break, it makes sense from a business perspective that the MCU would continue to release films. Star Wars made the right choice to stop after Rise of Skywalker was a failure, since it gave Lucasfilm an opportunity to adjust their overall plan to address fan complaints. At the end of the day, studios create films to make money, and it's not as though the movies released since Endgame haven't been profitable, and any Phase 4 movie released after Endgame would always be doomed to release in the shadow of the cinematic triumph. Still, it would have been better for the overall brand if the MCU had shifted its focus to the Disney+ TV series for a time, allowing the excitement for the Phase 4 movies to build up organically.

Next: How Many Oscar Nominations And Wins MCU Movies Have Had

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