Is Star Wars Now A Dead Brand?

Star Wars may be reeling from a slew of negative reviews and ratings from the recent Andor series, but realistically, the brand is not suffering.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Popular YouTuber, Valiant Renegade declared Star Wars a dead brand. The bold proclamation came after Nielsen released the premiere ratings for the Disney+ series Andor. Focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey, the 12-episode adventure explores a new perspective from the faraway galaxy and while it may prove statistically disappointing, realistically, Star Wars is not a dead brand.

After assessing these numbers Valiant Renegade said if everybody who turned on Andor watched the available episodes to the end, it means the show only managed to attract just over five million people, which is atrocious. “That is less than half that of Rings of Power. That is about a third of that of House of the Dragon. And that’s just over the first night for those other two shows,” he said.

The Youtuber then goes on the blame Disney for Andor’s dismal numbers, saying it’s their animosity towards Star Wars fans that created indifference about the series. He runs the numbers for every recently released show like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Book of Boba Fett, and The Mandalorian, to make his argument before announcing that the Star Wars brand is dead. While it’s easy to blame the company for the numbers, it would be worth examining if “animosity” is the real reason for the show’s failure.

The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how different people and planets became involved. It is described as an era filled with danger, deception, and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero. Sadly, the show failed to spark much interest from Star Wars fans, with Andor failing to crack Nielsen’s overall Top 10 ratings.

star wars andor review
Star Wars Andor

Instead, Netflix took the top two spots for the week of September 19th to the 25th with the newly released Dahmer series raking in over 3.658 billion minutes. Cobra Kai came in second with 1.110 billion minutes. Meanwhile, Star Wars Andor is hidden in the sixth position on the Nielsen Original ratings with 624 million minutes for its first three episodes.

When George Lucas created the faraway galaxy, there was something magical about it. Viewers felt what the characters felt, rooted for the heroes, and jeered at the bad guys with all their hearts. His creation, direction, and vision are essentially what made the first six movies in the franchise so epic.

A decade later, Disney released the sequel trilogy with new heroes fighting pretty much the same battle. Although all three movies lacked the magic of the first six, they were bolstered by a good dose of nostalgia and a new generation of fans who never met Luke or Anakin Skywalker. But once the hype faded, all that’s left are Star Wars stories that insist upon themselves with a sense of forced urgency.

This is only exacerbated by the very anti-climactic scene at the end of the Rise Of Skywalker. Following the trilogy’s success Disney, being the cash cow that it is, decided to create several series that exist simply to ride the coattails of the first six films. And while those used gimmicks like Baby Yoda to keep people interested, their stories lacked some series depth. But people kept watching, so the House of Mouse kept making shows, hoping the Star Wars brand would be enough – until it wasn’t.

The lesson here would be not to touch the material if you can’t rise to the same level of storytelling as George Lucas. Fortunately, the Star Wars brand isn’t dead. Disney is just suffering from an oversupply of mediocre television shows and really bad storytelling.