Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t hit theaters until December 18th, but if you want to watch any of the other six Star Wars movies – and you don’t happen to own them on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, or some form of Digital Download, or want to shell out the money to buy them – then you’re out of luck … unless a new rumor that all of the Star Wars films are coming to Netflix turns out to be true.
With the recent news that EPIX is cutting ties with Netflix in order to offer downloadable content for offline viewing, some wondered if the streaming-content giant would have any sort of response. Since they steadfastly refuse to offer offline content – a stance Netflix competitor Amazon has recently taken advantage of in order to be more accessible – perhaps Netflix is banking on their sheer volume of content to keep viewers’ eyes glued to their screens. Or perhaps they’re waiting to announce that more quality content, ie the Star Wars movies, will be available to stream exclusively through Netflix.
As streaming news site Exstreamist reports, there’s a rumor that Netflix will be the first (and possibly, only) provider to stream the Star Wars franchise. Perhaps this announcement will be tied into a deal with Disney/Lucasfilm for streaming rights to Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens after its theatrical run. The site also lists a Netflix search page for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back as evidence that the company is readying itself for the transition (but does not mention it could be a holdover from a DVD page for the same film).
Here’s a look at the “evidence” of Netflix’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back pageholder:
Honestly, it’s all wishing and speculating at this point. Disney has already made their Star Wars films and spin-off series available to watch/download (for a fee) over at Amazon and iTunes to name two, and you can buy them outright in the digital formats. Netflix does, however, currently offer Star Wars: The Clone Wars for streaming viewers right now, so maybe that will form a foundation for the live-action films appearing there in the future. It’s a pretty weak rumor at the moment, but stranger things have happened.
Update #1: Speaking of strange things, apparently AMC Theaters jumped the gun on their social media accounts, announcing a Star Wars marathon. They then deleted the tweet, and replaced the landing page with a customized Star Wars-themed 404. I’m sure we’ll get an official announcement of tickets going on sale for a Star Wars marathon leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens sooner than later, now that the Bantha’s out of the bag (via Star Wars Junk):
Update #2: Netflix has reached out to say that “there are no current plans to stream [the Star Wars films] at this time.” Time will tell!