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Disney’s Star Wars Streaming Puzzle

Andor is one of the least-watched Star Wars series so far despite receiving the best reviews of any new Lucasfilm project in years. Photo: Disney+
Julia Alexander
October 25, 2022

Star Wars is at a pivotal juncture in its nearly half-century existence, as Disney pushes the franchise beyond its lucrative but poorly-received sequel film trilogy into a true omni-channel media property fueled by new shows on Disney+. Of course, that’s all easier said than done. Sure, Lucasfilm scored with The Mandalorian, its debut streaming spin-off that drove millions of initial subs when the platform launched in 2019. But the division has struggled to recapture the same level of excitement with subsequent efforts. Andor, the latest addition to the Star Wars live-action TV universe, is one of the least watched series so far, despite receiving the best reviews of any new Lucasfilm project in years. 

This is not surprising, given the more mature setting that isn’t ideal for kids—and, in some ways, it might actually be a positive development for a franchise that’s sometimes too obsessed with its own mythology. Previous Star Wars shows like The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi tie into nostalgic storylines from the previous films. Mandalorian literally pulls in Luke Skywalker by the end of the second season. But Andor, based on the 2016 film Rogue One, is one of Lucasfilm’s first major attempts to expand the I.P. sandbox. The galaxy becomes Lego bricks instead of puzzle pieces. And that comes with some risks.