Shane Douglas, Sports Section Editor

Stormtroopers always miss their targets. Dating back to the original trilogy to the more recent Star Wars films, these bucket heads can’t aim.

With the release of The Mandalorian in 2019, a pair of scout troopers were shown firing, from only a few feet away, at an immobile object. They fired a total of seven shots, but not one of these shots hit the target.

Interestingly, with the release of a more mature Disney+ original in late 2022, Andor, these troopers have since been depicted as having adequate aim at striking and killing countless rebel targets throughout the series. This shift in stormtroopers’ ability to aim symbolizes  Disney’s shift in content maturity.

Disney has always been labeled as trying to appeal to a young audience by making their content considerably kid–friendly. However, within the past year, Disney has been adapting more mature content and themes.

Not only have stormtroopers seemingly shifted their aim, finally being depicted hitting their targets, but the company itself has repositioned its original aim. Instead of solely appealing to children and publishing strictly kid–friendly content, the company is changing its operations to appeal to a wider audience.

Like stormtroopers of the current era, instead of shooting to scare away its competitors and enemies, it’s now aiming to hit its target in order to exterminate competitors for good. In doing so, it is repositioning its content to be more mature so that it can appeal to a variety of ages.

Disney’s shift in content maturity originally stems from the acquisition of Marvel in 2009 and later Lucasfilm (Star Wars content) in 2012, which has more violent content than its typical Disney princess movies and other animated  film works.

With the creation of Disney+ in 2019, the company went from primarily making animated film work, to drastically increasing their live–action content produced. Live action content depicts real human beings; plus, scenes look more realistic and are more relatable to the audience, making it more likely to trigger reactions and emotions from the audience.

Disney’s shift in content is most directly exemplified by the addition of multiple TV–MA shows and movies added to their platform on July 22, 2022. Until then, the most mature content on the platform was TV–14 rated. Some of the new TV–MA rated additions include: Deadpool, Old Man Logan, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, all being properties of Marvel.

Although Disney has yet to directly make a TV–MA rated film, its content continues to become more mature as it is adapting increasingly darker and realistic content following the arrival of TV–MA movies and TV shows to the platform.

As Disney attempts to appeal to a variety of ages, it is providing more realistic types of content to its platform Disney+, including documentaries. For example, Primal Survivor was added to Disney+ in 2022. The show follows wildlife expert Hazen Audel as he commutes on intense and dangerous journeys throughout some of the most primitive parts of the world, according to National Geographic.

More recently, Disney+ added Limitless, a documentary starring Chris Hemsworth. It emphasizes how humans can maximize their time living, according to Imagine Games Network. This being said, as Disney is creating more live–action documentaries, their content is becoming more serious.

Another prime of Disney shifting to more realistic content is represented in Lucasfilm’s Andor. The show focuses on under–represented characters and events. Instead of making a show about the famous leaders of the rebellion, such as Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia, the show emphasizes lesser known characters like Andor, one of many rebels who aren’t galaxy famous nor have superhuman abilities but still want to help destroy the oppressive Empire.

Through representing lesser–known characters present in the vast Star Wars universe, Disney is making the Star Wars universe more realistic. With the trillions of different beings in the galaxy and thousands of published comics, there are endless events occurring. By focusing on lesser–known characters, it is making its stories more believable, creating higher quality content and moving away from incorporating famous characters for the sole purpose of attracting viewership.

For instance, in  the fan–favorite Star Wars TV show The Mandolorian, popular characters such as Ahsoka Tano, Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker made appearances; however, Andor defies this old Star Wars custom of incorporating references and characters for the purpose of increasing the content’s popularity. Arguably, the most well-known character in the show is a republican senator, Mon Mothma, in contrast to more well–known characters depicted in less recent works such as Obi–Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

Andor is not only more mature due to its realistic character starring and cameos, but also because of the distressing action scenes and harsher language. Its fight scenes are more realistic, and it doesn’t try to shield gruesome deaths to the same extent as other Star Wars shows do. For instance, Disney incorporates torture and out–of–the ordinary death scenes. Further, instead of focusing on action and incorporating unrealistic, intense fight scenarios, the show uses much of its time to expand upon Star Wars politics and the smaller events that lead up to the galactic ones.

Along with Star Wars, Marvel content is also becoming increasingly darker and more mature on Disney+. On Oct. 7, 2022, Disney released Werewolf By Night, its first ever Disney+ original horror film. Most of the show is in black and white besides blood, which is depicted in its natural color. The main character is a blood–thirsty werewolf, a sharp contrast from past Disney main characters.

Just as stormtroopers have shifted their aim, Disney has seemingly shifted its content, in order to appeal to a wider audience — an audience composed of both children and adults. Starting from the creation of Disney+, to the addition of TV–MA rated filmwork, Disney has begun to incorporate more realistic and serious content for the betterment of fans.