You Can’t Watch Star Wars Online Because Disney Sold The Rights Until 2024

Go ahead: try to watch Star Wars online. We’ll wait. It’s confusing, right? Some recent movies are on Netflix, but the classics aren’t anywhere.

Disney, which owns Star Wars, famously plans to launch a streaming service. You’d think the Star Wars movies would be included in that, but it turns out even that might not be true, because Disney sold the streaming rights to Turner Broadcasting/AT&T back in 2016.

It’s just one example of why cord cutting can be confusing for reasons that are more legal than technical.

RELATED: Cord-Cutting Is Losing Its Luster

Here’s Lucas Shaw, writing for Bloomberg:

Disney sold certain rights to Turner in 2016, before it completed plans for the streaming service. The company has released four new Star Wars films since it acquired LucasFilm in 2012, and plans to release another in December 2019. Turner paid about $275 million for the six Star Wars movies released between 1977 and 2005, plus the newer titles.

So why doesn’t Turner offer the movies online somewhere? I can’t tell you, but if I had to guess I’d say they want people to watch the movies on their cable stations.

Disney is now trying to buy those rights back, so they can build an alternative to Netflix. So there’s still a chance an upcoming streaming service could have all of the Star Wars movies. In the short term, however, buying the Blu-ray or a digital might be a better bet for watching whenever you want.

Justin Pot is the News Editor for How-To Geek. He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon and runs the Hillsboro Signal, which offers local citizen journalism. Follow Justin on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.