Shocking New Numbers Seemingly Confirm Future of ‘Star Wars’

in Star Wars

Assembled Jedi on a cliff in Star Wars: The Acolyte

Credit: Lucasfilm

The numbers are in for The Acolyte – and they’re shockingly good.

Disney’s two biggest live-action franchises have followed similar paths in recent years. Star Wars, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has increasingly turned its attention to Disney+, with its last theatrical release, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, hitting theaters in 2019.

Two men, one in a stormtrooper outfit and the other in a brown jacket, appear engaged in an intense conversation inside a Star Wars spaceship corridor.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: With Mark Hamill Replaced, Disney Begins Updating the ‘Star Wars’ Sequel Era

Some of these efforts have been better received than others. While the first live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian, was widely praised, other shows have had a rougher experience with both critics and fans.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, for example, proved extremely divisive. The show – which followed Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) as he rescues a young Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) and comes face to face with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) for the first time since he fell to the Dark Side – was deemed “undiluted nostalgia” by some, while others declared it to be “more like old-school Star Wars than its Disney+ predecessors.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi glowing by the blue light of his lightsaber
Credit: Lucasfilm

The latest show to hit the streaming service is more of an Obi-Wan Kenobi than a Mandalorian.

The Acolyte, which premiered on June 4, is set at the end of the High Republic Era, approximately 100 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). Only two episodes have aired so far, but sentiment has ranged from calling it “a shocking waste of time” to claiming that showrunner Leslye Headland “accomplishes what the Star Wars series were originally about: expanding, intriguing universe.”

A character with white hair and horns on their forehead is holding a sword in front of them in a defensive stance. They are dressed in a light brown and yellow outfit. Another character, slightly out of focus, holds a similar stance in the background.
Credit: Lucasfilm

It’s these split opinions that make new numbers shared by Disney+ so intriguing. According to the platform, The Acolyte generated 4.8 million views on its first day of streaming, making it the biggest premiere on Disney+ so far this year.

Disney’s pretty inconsistent with the viewership data it shares. For example, it shared the six-day stats for Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the five-day viewership for Ahsoka. However, if it’s sharing one-day views, it seems to have faith that The Acolyte will perform well in the long run.

A man with long, dark hair and a mustache peers out from behind a weathered wall. An acolyte of forgotten lore, he has a contemplative expression. The surroundings appear rustic and dimly lit, featuring an industrial control panel on the right side of the image.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Lucasfilm Chief Kathleen Kennedy Blames “Male-Dominated” Fan Base for ‘Star Wars’ Flops

It’s also a pretty good sign of what we can expect from Star Wars moving forward. Lucasfilm is extremely reactive when things don’t work – and when they do. The Acolyte has set itself apart from other Star Wars projects by marketing itself as ‘Star Wars for newbies,’ requiring only basic knowledge of the franchise.

If this has struck a chord with viewers, it’s not a huge leap to assume that Lucasfilm may pursue this path further in the future—especially when Marvel’s increasingly complex, self-referential storylines have been cited as a contributing factor to the franchise’s decline in recent years. Watch this space.

What do you hope for from future Star Wars projects? Let us know in the comments!

in Star Wars

View Comments (5)