After The Mandalorian’s first season turned both Baby Yoda and Disney+ into household names, it seemed like few skies could properly limit the Star Wars franchise’s future on the small screen. That same sentiment was felt after Season 2’s emotional conclusion, with The Book of Boba Fett’s existence via post-credits reveal garnering waves of excitement as it marked the first big spinoff within this expanded TV universe. Now that the Temeura Morrison and Ming-Na Wen-starring series has wrapped its first season, however, a lot of that initial goodwill feels stagnant, even if the unofficial viewership stats indicate success.
While Disney+ famously doesn’t divulge in hard data regarding how well its original programming is doing, the viewer-tracking Samba TV released its own numbers (via Deadline) that indicate The Book of Boba Fett’s Season 1 finale was watched by more people immediately after release than the Skywalker-peppered Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian. According to Samba, around 1.5 million households were plugged into Boba Fett and Fennec Shand’s seventh and final episode (for now) across its first five days of release, which is an increase of roughly 36% from Mandalorian’s reported audience of 1.1 million during the same five-day stretch. That comparison is kind of baffling on a couple of different levels and inspires a handful of big questions about the state of Star Wars television. So let's dive into this Sarlacc Pit of curiosity.
How Are So Few People Talking About Boba Compared To Mando?
I won’t be so naive as to say The Book of Boba Fett didn’t spark any conversations during its seven-week run, but by and large, the zeitgeist did not seem very eager to propel the Star Wars series to its upper decks, especially during the earliest episodes. And even when people did talk about the spinoff series, a disappointed tone was used more often than not, with many bemoaning the wasted potential with such a wildly beloved character like Boba Fett. That shift changed a bit once Episode 5 delivered the “Return of the Mandalorian,” but in a muddled way where fans questioned why the best elements about the series were appearances from other properties’ characters, from Mando to Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth to the live-action debut of the villainous Cad Bane. So even when people were talking about The Book of Boba Fett more, they were still just really talking about The Mandalorian.
How Are So Few People Watching The Book Of Boba Fett Altogether?
When one considers that just about all of the Star Wars films are known for being box office giants, it’s easy to imagine that success would easily port to a streaming service like Disney+. But it’s clearly impossible to fully gauge how well certain projects will do on a streaming service, even with something like Star Wars. Obviously, earning an audience of 1.5 million people is nothing to sneeze at in and of itself. But the only major network regularly pulling in a smaller viewership is The CW. Even repeats for Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star get comparable total audiences. (And don’t even ask about repeats for CBS’ most popular shows, which consistently net well over 5 million viewers for live episodes.) How are we at a point where episodes of History’s The Curse of Oak Island brings in over a million more people than a series focusing on Boba motherflipping Fett?
Do Those Bigger Numbers Imply Viewers Expected A Post-Credits Reveal?
Regardless of how the rest of its first season did, The Book of Boba Fett could have conceivably had its own stats padded for the finale simply due to the fanbase’s curiosity-driven by the potential for a post-credits sequence to reveal the next big project within the Star Wars universe. While everyone is probably aware that the previously announced Rangers of the Republic spinoff isn’t happening anymore, the door is theoretically always open for more Mandalorian spinoffs and/or standalone series (such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor), and what more fitting place to drop such an announcement than at the end of the latest high-profile release? Alas, even though there was a final moment that sparked optimism for fans of Cobb Vanth, no such reveals were made regarding other projects. Technically speaking, I guess viewers could have just immediately skipped to the end of the episode to find out, without their viewing being properly tracked by Samba, so this inquiry might be a bit off base. Unless it’s not.
What Does This Mean For The Mandalorian Season 3 And Other Spinoffs?
On the one hand, fans might assume that savvy Disney+ execs will have surveyed social media to see how well The Book of Boba Fett fared with fans from a conversational standpoint, only to later decide on what to do next. On the far more likely other hand, though, it's extremely likely that the Powers That Be will be guided more by the bottom line of the bigger finale viewership than anything else. Which could potentially mean that the wrong lessons will be learned from this one and that Disney+ might think it smarter to just keep churning out similar Tatooine-set content as opposed to sticking closer to what other fans are hoping for. (Namely, a moratorium on desert planets.) It's highly possible the upcoming Ahsoka Tano series will be a similarly miscalculated offering, although I feel like riots would go down across the galaxy if they drop that ball with that one.
In the end, it's possible that The Book of Boba Fett’s final ep netted a bigger audience than The Mandalorian’s Season 2 finale simply because Disney+ has more subscribers at the beginning of 2022 than it did at the end of 2020. Although even in that case, the increased percentage would seemingly be far higher. Whatever the cause, I just hope things stay interesting for all things Star Wars going forward. And obviously also that Timothy Olyphant and Jimmy Smits are involved with all the shows.
The Book of Boba Fett is now finished, without a Season 2 announcement having been revealed just yet. But anyone with a Disney+ subscription can stream the entirety of it all over again, and check out everything that’s hitting the small screen soon with our 2022 TV premiere schedule.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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