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Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader II: Does Disney+ Need a Hit?

Can the forthcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series set Disney+ back on the path to the light? Darth Vader is returning.

Obi-Wan Kenobi faces Darth Vader Concept Art

Disney+ did not have a great Q4 2021. Our Home Theater Editor takes a deeper dive into the details behind that but it’s clear that the streaming service is desperate for something new and exciting to gain some momentum back. “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi…” takes on new significance for Disney right now.

While 120 million subscribers is nothing to blow Gungan chunks at, Disney spent a lot of money over the past 24 months to build that audience and that growth has come to a massive halt as life returns to normal in the post-pandemic world.

Movie theater attendance has improved but it has not recovered as the industry hoped that it would; there are not enough No Time To Die and Dune blockbuster titles to keep audiences interested and that might be the case for a few more months.

So what about Obi-Wan Kenobi? Can the forthcoming Jedi Knight series starring Ewan McGregor set in the timeline between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope save the galaxy…I mean Disney+ from its issues?

Disney has confirmed that the new series will take us on a journey across the galaxy as the Empire hunts down the surviving remnants of the Jedi and Obi-Wan hunkers down on Tatooine looking over a very young Luke Skywalker.

Fans both love and hate trailers, but Disney offered up just enough information in a new sizzle reel that was released today that gives us some new hope (the Force is strong with this one) that they understand their situation.

The Star Wars community can be ugly at times; I’ve been an active part of it for 44 years and it’s not always fun trips with Han and Chewie to the cantina. The success of The Mandalorian has raised expectations to the point that Disney is probably setting itself up for a fall into a hot river of lava on Mustafar.

What’s clear from the reel is that there will be a second battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader (internal screaming) which takes place before their final battle on the first Death Star.

The recasting of Hayden Christensen as the Dark Lord of the Sith was met with universal praise from the fan base and we are hoping that the series exceeds expectations because we’re already bored with Squid Games.

Nervous studio executives in the Magic Kingdom are praying that they have the high ground with this one or it might be the Spice mines of Kessel in Q3 2022.

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