Has the equivalent of superhero fatigue finally come for the galaxy far, far away? Recently, the highly-anticipated Star Wars Ahsoka show premiered, and data reveals that 1.2 million households tuned in to watch this show on Disney+.
For Star Wars Ahsoka fans, maybe that doesn’t sound too bad. But it is actually considerably lower than the number of households that tuned into Obi-Wan Kenobi (which said “hello there” to 2.14 million fans who streamed in the first four days) and even The Book of Boba Fett (which provided weird flashbacks to 1.9 fans in the first six days).
In typical Jedi fashion, this new revelation could mean nothing for the latest Star Wars spinoff or it could mean everything for the future of the franchise. Star Wars Ahsoka’s early numbers are roughly in line with the early numbers for Andor, and that’s a show that many would consider perhaps the best Star Wars series of the modern age.
Data reveals that only 1.2 million households tuned in to watch this show on Disney+.
In other words, a low number of initial viewers doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad sign for the show in question, and like Andor before it, Star Wars Ahsoka may very well benefit from positive word-of-mouth.
However, another way of looking at the success of Star Wars shows, like Ahsoka, is that they reflect how much the audience is hyped for the return of a popular character. For example, while both Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi had spinoffs that were (let’s be honest) more than a little “meh,” a high number of people tuned in because they simply wanted more onscreen adventures of these fan-favorite characters.
Andor likely had low initial streaming numbers because the titular protagonist had only appeared in one film before this, but we had higher hopes for Ahsoka after her many appearances in The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Mandalorian.
There are already many theories from Star Wars fans about why Ahsoka didn’t create a huge splash, including the fact that the ongoing actors’ and writers’ strikes have kept some of the key talents like Rosario Dawson from promoting the show.
However, we think the likelier cause is the fact that Disney has been using The Mandalorian to sow the seeds of potential spinoffs due to its popularity. But that popularity is declining: it only had 1.6 million households tuning in within the first four days of season 3 compared to 2.08 million households tuning in for season 4 in the same time frame.
Star Wars popularity may be declining with the last few shows airing on Disney+
Ironically, modern Star Wars is suffering from a Marvel problem: instead of telling a great story, everything has to set something else up. Much of Boba Fett’s one season, for example, was basically Mandalorian episodes setting up the new season, and now it seems like Ahsoka is setting up an adaptation of Heir to the Empire (Timothy Zahn’s insanely popular Star Wars EU novel).
And just as the general public doesn’t like having to watch every Marvel movie and TV show to keep track of what’s going on, audiences may not want to watch Ahsoka until they are certain it has its own great story to tell and isn’t just setting up another tepid reason to keep your Disney+ subscription.