Rebels across the galaxy, take a bow. Citizens of the Republic, take a bow. Star Wars fans around the globe, take a bow! WE DID IT! It would not have taken a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that Obi-Wan Kenobi was going to be popular, but could they have predicted just how big it would be? Well, the numbers are officially in, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is the most-watched premiere in the short but successful history of Disney+. Others may disagree on whether the series deserves such recognition. As a child of the prequel generation, the relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker had an impact on me growing up. I would have to say that the series deserves this recognition and more.
Star Wars has one of the largest followings in the world and we are reminded of this every time anything new from the franchise drops. Whether it is Star Wars fans who are critical of anything outside their preferred trilogy, Star Wars fans who only accept canon material, or Star Wars fans who enjoy every little bit of it, they all turn out in droves each time there is a new installment from George Lucas’s galaxy far, far away. This coupled with the fact that the series has worldwide name recognition predictably results in big numbers. But what exactly are those numbers?
Data gathered by Samba TV estimates that the Obi-Wan Kenobi two-episode premiere pulled in a massive 2.14 million households over its 4-day weekend release. For comparison, other recent Star Wars titles such as the second season of The Mandalorian and the first season of The Book of Boba Fett garnered 2.08 and 1.5 million respectively over their 3-day weekends. In looking at the Marvel Disney+ series, Moon Knight recently opened to 1.6 million households and Marvel’s most popular show, Loki, captivated 890 thousand homes in one day on its mid-week Wednesday premiere. Some might be surprised at the significant gap between Marvel and Star Wars in terms of numbers given the incredibly large following that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has amassed since 2008. However, these numbers show that Jedi, Sith, and even bounty hunters still reign supreme in this galaxy. Marvel will have its next shot at the crown when Ms. Marvel has her MCU debut on June 8.
Now that Obi-Wan Kenobi has had the biggest Star Wars Disney+ debut, what is next for the franchise to strive for? My gut says this series has a chance to challenge The Mandalorian as the new crowd favorite. It would be no small task as in just two seasons, The Mandalorian has become one of the most demanded shows on all streaming platforms, not just Disney+.
According to Neilson streaming rankings, despite not having the top streaming numbers (The Mandalorian ranked 13), Mando, and Baby Yoda topped the charts in 2020 in terms of demand, viewership, and engagement. In January 2021, The Mandalorian became the first non-Netflix show to be ranked the number 1 most streamed show on Neilson’s weekly ratings. This is an especially impressive feat when you factor in the fact that The Mandalorian has only sixteen episodes as opposed to shows like The Office, which has an episode count of 201.
Obi-Wan Kenobi series may be hampered by the same problem of a limited number of episodes. However, depending on how the rest of the first season goes and how truthful the rumblings of a second season are, Kenobi may have hopes of surpassing its Western-style counterpart. And if Star Wars fans know one thing, it is that sometimes a little hope is all you need.
Syndicated From Culture Slate