Tomorrow, Disney and Netflix — two of the juggernauts in the streaming industry — are set to release highly anticipated shows, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Stranger Things 4, leaving fans to decide: which franchise gets the first view?
If you’re a mega-fan of Star Wars, the answer is easy: Obi-Wan Kenobi, duh! This series picks up after the movie Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and follows Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, through his journey to reconcile with the consequences of his former friend and apprentice, Anakin Skywalker (who adopted the name “Darth Vader” after turning to the dark side). Star Wars has captured the minds and souls of millions since the 80s and has no dearth of excited viewers, fueled by the continued storyline of the Skywalker line through episodes seven, eight and nine.
If you’re a mega-fan of Stranger Things, the answer is easy: Stranger Things 4 – Part 1. Yes, you read that right — part one of part four. Stranger Things first captured the attention of many viewers in 2016. The fresh storyline weaved together with 80s nostalgia and mystery — plus teenage drama — captured the hearts of viewers and left them yearning for more episodes. Fast forward to 2020: a year that was less than stellar for millions around the world and the Stranger Things franchise with the release of Stranger Things 3. This left viewers wanting resolution and a return to the incredible storytelling abilities of creators The Duffer Brothers. The latest part of this series will be released in two installments (May 2022 and July 2022) and has many viewers wondering: What happened to Hopper?
But what if you’re a mega-fan of both franchises?
This is the crux of the dilemma for many dual fans like myself. I’m a Star Wars junkie (though I think it’s important to mention that I own no swag, props or costumes related to the franchise) and I’m a lover of Stranger Things (I watch seasons one and two at least twice a year).
How am I supposed to choose? On the one hand, The Mandalorian series had me on the edge of my seat and eager for the release of the next episode. Unlike many streaming services, Disney released episodes to its latest two Star Wars TV series one week at a time –like TV stations did in the olden days. While this millennial found it annoying, it didn’t deter me in the slightest from tuning in the following week. On the other hand, The Book of Boba Fett turned out to be a dud that left the taste of corn in my mouth. Do I risk a Boba Fett repeat? Or do I gamble on missing another Mandalorian experience?
All of the emotional politics aside, these competing releases by Disney and Netflix have me wondering: who is the more popular streaming service? In what seems to be an unspoken showdown between the Happiest-Franchise-on-Earth and the Old Guard of streaming services, the turnout for these two shows will likely crown one of them, “Emperor of Original TV.” And with this new title, what will the winner receive? More viewers? Increased stock prices? More deals to create more original content? Bragging rights?
The outcome of this streaming race may mean the winner gets to set the trends for streaming services — setting standards the rest of the organizations will try to imitate to gain back viewers. Whatever the outcome, the data gained from such a direct comparison of offerings will be sure to shine a light on this unique aspect of the subscription industry.
The implications don’t just stop with Disney and Netflix. Those of us watching at home will have to live with our choices. Maybe the decision is easy for you. Or, if you’re like me, maybe you’re wondering where you want your streaming vote to count. Of course, you could always abstain.
Ha, yeah right.