Lately, it seems as though the Star Wars™ franchise has been taking the world by storm, as if the United Nations was run by a group of 12 year old boys. From video games, to Lego™ sets, to pretty much any merchandise you can think of, if it’s labeled Star Wars™, it’s selling. But why?
Star Wars™, like many things, is a popular franchise. This is because it has many memorable characters, settings, plots, and quotes. This means that it can easily be milked for money as well. It is easily transferred from film to an assortment of other mediums, such as
- t-shirts and other clothing
- board/video games
- children’s toys (dolls, action figures, etc.)
This easy transfer means a lot of money going to that franchise, because the companies making the marked products have to pay royalties, or fees that a company gets from people who use its content to make money. So this is a win for both companies, one gets more money than the other initially (the one making and selling the product with the franchised idea on it,) than that of the company that had the rights to the idea that was on the product. But in most cases, the owner of the franchise, (in this case, Disney) usually still gets more money than the seller of the product.
But why, you may ask. This is because if a franchise is making money, then why make only one extra product for it? Why not get as much money out of it as you can? This is what Disney asks. A lot. A good comparison to Star Wars™ now is back in 2001 when Shrek was the best thing since sliced bread. Dreamworks made as much money out of the franchise as they could because, well, it simply made money. They made Shrek clothing, Shrek fruit snacks, Shrek ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. Because it made money. That’s just the way that most franchise-owning businesses work. If a movie makes money, you make merchandise for it. If a certain sports brand makes a lot of money, they make more products for it. They expand upon what they’ve done to make money before to more money.
Because in the end, that’s all companies want from their products: money. Most don’t entirely care about whether or not it works, or is completely satisfactory for the customer. They want customers to be happy, sure. But they want them to be happy so that they buy more, and tell their friends and family to buy more. Notice the pattern? More, more, more. More franchises = more products, more products = more money for the company, more money = more funding for more franchises, and the cycle repeats.
But back to Star Wars™ in particular. It is a franchise that has had it’s ups and downs (looking at you, Jar-Jar), but in the end, it is one of the most successful franchise in the history of money-making ideas. Since they have this fame, they can make more merchandise whenever a new movie comes out.
So it is true, money makes the world go ‘round, and that my friends, is also what makes Star Wars™ come back every 10 or so years.