Disney Plus has a lot to thank Baby Yoda for. Okay, so it’s not just the cute factor that’s pushed its new live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” to the top of the streaming chart, but that’s bound to have had something to do with it.
Baby Yoda obsession aside, “The Mandalorian” is living up to the hype. Since it was released on Disney’s brand new streaming service on Nov. 12, it has been declared a hit by viewers and critics alike. It has a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes after three episodes (episode 4 airs on Friday, Nov. 29), and Den of Geek declared, “The story is well on its way,” adding “‘The Mandalorian’ might be a winner.”
Here’s a video preview of the series that @disneyplus posted a few days ago. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers:
But that’s not all. “The Mandalorian” has ended Netflix’s “Stranger Things”‘ five-month streak as the top-streaming TV show in the U.S. According to Parrot Analytics, during the week of Nov. 17-Nov. 23, “The Mandalorian” had 100 million demand expressions, easily surpassing “Stranger Things”‘ 81 million. FYI, Parrot’s “demand expression” metric is a TV-demand measurement unit that reflects the desire, engagement and viewership of a TV series in one country, weighted by importance. It’s a pretty niche measurement and shouldn’t be confused with subscriber numbers, but it indicates importance within the industry.
The show breaks the mold with short (32-38 minute) chapter-like installments drawn out over eight episodes, releasing about a week apart. We’re not going to reveal anything important (although the mere revelation of Baby Yoda’s existence is a spoiler for the first episode) except to say that the series gives richer context to the heretofore mysterious warrior culture within the “Star Wars” universe called the Mandalorians. This group of people was introduced to many moviegoers by the character Boba Fett, who is a clone of a Mandalorian warrior.
Here’s an image from the show from @disneyplus, featuring the taciturn bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal and the awesome off-the-ground baby carrier (we want one — Disney, please get on that!) holding “The Child,” known to everyone now as Baby Yoda.
One week after its release, “The Mandalorian” (which is set five years after the events of “The Return of the Jedi”) was already the most in-demand new original streaming show of the year, outperforming Netflix’s “When They See Us” and “The Umbrella Academy.”
The early success of “The Mandalorian” (was there ever really any doubt that a new “Star Wars” series would be a hit?) is great news for Disney Plus in an increasingly competitive streaming space. But the service is growing quickly; BGR reports the service has gained 15.5 million new subscribers since its launch two weeks ago. Netflix, by contrast, boasts 60 million U.S. subscribers.
Other original shows on the platform include Christmas comedy “Noelle” with Anna Kendrick, Kristen Bell’s reality TV show “Encore,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” (in which he explores the science and history of “deceptively familiar objects,” as the description says).
Are you watching this cool new series? If not, maybe you should be!