The Mandalorian Season 3 Proves Star Wars Is In Trouble As New Report Reveals Fans Are Tuning Out
The Mandalorian season 3 debuted with fewer viewers than The Book of Boba Fett, and with no announcements from Disney about its success, the numbers look disappointing.
2023 feels like it’s just starting, and already the year has been filled with bad news for Star Wars, from movies being canceled to the flagship Galactic Voyage experience being cut back; nothing has gone right in the galaxy far, far away. The Bespin Bulletin recently shared a report that not even The Mandalorian season 3 has been able to reverse the downward slide. What was once the most successful Star Wars series debuted 28% lower than Obi-Wan, and worst of all, behind the much-derided Book of Boba Fett.
Unlike cable and broadcast shows, ratings for streaming services are kept private and can only be estimated by third parties. That said, they issue press releases advertising every successful show on Disney+. Since The Mandalorian season 3 was released, the company has been silent on its success.
Compare that to the quick press release celebrating Black Panther: Wakanda Forever having the biggest debut for a Marvel movie on the service.
Disney knows the true number, and it’s bad for the company if they aren’t saying anything. Considering the declining box office numbers for the last trilogy, it makes sense that Star Wars isn’t as popular as it used to be, but if that malaise is starting to impact the television shows, it shows that no part of the venerable franchise is immune. Even with the decreased viewership, The Mandalorian’s season 3 debut was still one of Disney+’s most-watched premieres of all time, and while that’s an accolade to be proud of, it pales in comparison to Pedro Pascal’s other series.
Pascal’s The Last of Us on HBO has accrued more viewers each episode, topping off with over 6 million for the recent season 1 finale. Third-party tracking from Nielsen revealed over 1 billion minutes have been watched, both impressive numbers, and if Star Wars was reaching those heights, wouldn’t we all know about it? We did when Wakanda Forever reached a billion minutes and when Loki became the most-watched debut on the service, but for Star Wars, crickets.
Hopefully, more shows are the solution for Disney, as the company is set to release Ahsoka, Skeleton Crew, and The Acolyte within the next year, in addition to Andor season 2. Each series is, again, appealing to the most hardcore fans of the franchise, and with each one, the bar for newcomers becomes ever higher. Marvel’s intricately connected MCU is now making it difficult for casual fans to keep up; by doing the same with Star Wars, is Disney repeating the same mistake?
With no new feature films in production, four years after The Rise of Skywalker disappointed the majority of fans worldwide, every egg is in the steaming basket, and right now, it’s a basket that’s getting smaller and smaller with each new release. If the award-winning franchise savior, The Mandalorian, is now bringing in reduced numbers with each season, it’s not good for the future of Star Wars.
No one knows what that future will look like, and worst of all, it appears no one at Disney or LucasFilm knows either. New episodes of The Mandalorian season 3 air every Wednesday on Disney+.