The Ewan McGregor-led Obi-Wan Kenobi series finale had worse viewership than The Mandalorian Season 2, Loki, and even WandaVision.
At the end of May following the release of the first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi to Disney+, Lucasfilm and Star Wars attempted to gin up a controversy by having actress Moses Ingram accuse Star Wars fans of racist behavior.
The gambit appeared to be an obvious marketing ploy to try and get people to subscribe to Disney+ and watch the series since the evidence Ingram shared to Instagram of the “abuse” she received was hardly abuse let alone racism.
On top of the lack of evidence to support Ingram’s claim, Ewan McGregor took it upon himself to address the situation in an obvious marketing video shared to the official Star Wars Twitter account.
In the video, he first bragged the show was the most watched Disney Plus original series premiere of all time. However, he then addressed Ingram’s claim that she was subjected to racism and abuse.
He said, “It seems that some of the fanbase, from this influential fanbase, have decided to attack Moses Ingram online and send her the most horrendous, racist DMs, and I heard some of them this morning and it just broke my heart.”
“Moses is a brilliant actor, she’s a brilliant woman, and she’s absolutely amazing in this series,” McGregor continued. “She brings so much to this series, she brings so much to this franchise, and it just sickened me to my stomach to hear this had been happening.”
He then declared, “I just want to say, as the leading actor in the series, as the EP on the series, that we stand with Moses. We love Moses. And if you’re sending her bullying messages, you’re no Star Wars fan in my mind.”
“There’s no place for racism in this world,” he concluded. “And I totally stand with Moses.”
A personal message from Ewan McGregor. pic.twitter.com/rJSDmj663K
— Star Wars | Andor Premieres Sept 21 on Disney+ (@starwars) June 1, 2022
Obi-Wan Kenobi did indeed have the most watched time via minutes for a Disney+ original series as Nielsen reported that the show’s first three episodes raked in 958 million minutes viewed.
However, Nielsen recently released their data for the weeks ending July 3rd and June 26th. The sixth and final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi released on June 22nd. For the week of June 26th, Nielsen reported that Obi-Wan Kenobi only brought in 860 million minutes viewed.
That was good enough for 3rd on the Top 10 Nielsen charts behind The Umbrella Academy and Stranger Things. If you factor in films, the movie placed 6th on the top 20 charts behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Sing 2, and The Man From Toronto.
For the week ending July 3rd, Obi-Wan Kenobi did not even chart on Nielsen’s top 10 list for streaming series. Netflix’s Ozark placed 10th with only 330 million minutes viewed. That means Obi-Wan Kenobi’s had less than 330 million minutes viewed a week after its season finale.
This is drastically different compared to The Mandalorian Season 2. The season finale premiered on December 16, 2020 and for the week ending December 20th, Nielsen reported the show was #1 raking in 1.336 billion minutes viewed.
The following week, the week ending December 27th, it had 1.024 billion minutes viewed. The show was still bringing in significant viewership for the week ending January 3rd with 707 million minutes viewed. Even for the week ending January 10th it brought in 411 million minutes viewed.
Obi-Wan Kenobi did edge out The Book of Boba Fett, but just barely. The finale premiered on February 9th of this year, and Nielsen reports for the week ending February 13th, the show raked in 885 million minutes viewed. It would still chart for the week ending February 20th with 339 million minutes viewed.
However, by the week ending February 27th it would no longer chart with Disney’s Bluey being the last on the charts with 304 million minutes viewed.
Not only did The Mandalorian Season 2 finale outperform Obi-Wan Kenobi, but WandaVision, the first Marvel Studios’ show released to Disney+ back in 2021 had better viewership for its finale than Obi-Wan Kenobi.
WandaVision’s season finale premiered on March 5, 2021 and for the week ending March 7th, Nielsen reported it raked in 924 million minutes viewed. However, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, WandaVision quickly fell off the charts. By the week ending March 14th it was no longer on Nielsen’s charts with Netflix’s Heartland being the worst in the Top 10 with 416 million minutes viewed.
Obi-Wan Kenobi also saw far less viewership than Loki’s season finale. Nielsen reported for the week ending July 18 of 2021, Loki brought in 1.011 billion minutes viewed. The season finale aired on July 14th.
Loki still brought in 386 million minutes viewed for the following week ending on July 25th.
This means that Obi-Wan Kenobi performed far worse than shows that debuted on Disney+ over a year ago, when the streaming service had far less subscribers than they did when Kenobi first debuted on the service.
In fact, it got absolutely trounced by the second season of The Mandalorian, which premiered at the end of 2020!
What might be even more interesting is the fact that the numbers completely tailed off compared to the premiere. Granted the premiere included three episodes, but I think it’s safe to assume that a significant portion of the people who watched the first three episodes of Kenobi turned it off and never looked back. They had seen enough and were done with what Lucasfilm and Star Wars had done to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Not only did they turn off the show after watching the first three episodes of the series, but it’s also quite possible they turned it off after the multibillion dollar company tried to accuse their own fans and viewers of racism and position themselves as victims of this alleged racism.
Regardless, their marketing gambit to accuse Star Wars fans of racism did not work. The show did not see increased viewership. The total viewership numbers from the premiere to the finale declined.
The trend is clear. Star Wars is in decline and has been since the release of The Last Jedi by Rian Johnson. There might have been a brief upswing with The Mandalorian, but that show appears to be an exception rather than the rule.