It is safe to say that the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series is one of Disney’s most anticipated new releases. Considering the sheer amount of content that Disney+ is releasing, has recently released, or is currently looking to release, that is a whole lot. Ewan McGregor’s take on a young Obi-Wan is generally considered to be one of the highlights of George Lucas’ prequel series, and fans have a lot of expectations of the new series. But it turns out that regardless of quality or fan reaction, Obi-Wan Kenobi is not going to be winning any Emmys. The reason? Just a few days of scheduling.
See, while the Emmys are generally (at least in theory) awarded to primetime television programs based on their level of excellence, there are a lot of other rules too. One of the more important and obvious ones is based on the release dates of the first and last episodes, which makes a certain amount of sense. Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently set to premiere the first two episodes on May 27; the six-episode series will officially finish on June 22. Unfortunately, the cutoff date to qualify for the 2022 Emmys is June 15, just a week too early for Obi-Wan Kenobi. So unless Lucasfilms decides to rush things a little bit and double up on episodes on some week, the series will have to wait for 2023 Primetime Emmys to get any kudos. This may not seem like that big of a deal, but a year is a long time to wait and an even longer amount of time to keep in voters’ minds.
It does seem strange that Lucasfilm would schedule Obi-Wan Kenobi so that it is not eligible for this year’s Emmy Awards. After all, it is not like its parent company Disney does not have some experience trying to schedule all of its many projects for maximum audience and award exposure. We could thusly speculate that Lucasfilm made a deliberate decision to not slot Obi-Wan Kenobi within eligibility timeframes, but that just raises further questions as to why. An obvious reason would be so as to not crowd the nominations with too many entries and risk splitting a vote. However, there is not a Lucasfilm project that can be thought of as a lock for the Emmys 2022. The main contender theoretically would be the tepidly-received The Book of Boba Fett, but industry odds are not favoring it highly.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was notably rescheduled prior to release once already. However, it was only by a few days, not enough to have knocked the limited series of the eligibility window (and Lucasfilm also decided to drop two episodes the first week as a kind of fan mea culpa). Given the fervent fan reaction to each new release of Obi-Wan Kenobi material, the presence of returning stars Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, and the reliable direction of Deborah Chow, it does not seem like Lucasfilm and/or Disney has any doubts about the release of the program. Perhaps it will become clear in time by Obi-Wan Kenobi is getting blocked on this one, from a different point of view.