In a clear sign that the most recent episode of The Mandalorian did its job correctly, some new data indicates that the two Star Wars shows that Ahsoka Tano appeared in – The Clone Wars and Rebels – saw an uptick in viewership on Disney+.
The Verge reports that based on reports shared from Parrot Analytics, The Clone Wars has seen several spikes in viewership throughout its time on Disney+ throughout the service’s lifespan, with the first coinciding with the service’s launch, which was incidentally when The Mandalorian‘s first season aired. Interest in the series continued after the season wrapped, but simmered down a bit over time… That is, until a second spike occurred right around the time that the seventh and final season of The Clone Wars began airing. After that wrapped, interest faded, but a third spike coincided with the return of The Mandalorian, and now, a spike within that spike has been tied to the likes of Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano appearing as guest stars on the series.
Based on what Parrot Analytics have seen since January 1, 2017, The Clone Wars has seen a much higher demand than ever, with over four times as much viewership now than prior to the first season of The Mandalorian. It’s difficult to know the full picture since live ratings from the first five seasons and the streaming ratings for the first six seasons aren’t necessarily included in that model, which accounts for minutes streamed, online discourse about the series, and even piracy. Nonetheless, the surge in popularity could possibly indicate that The Clone Wars is in even greater demand now than that the show was when the sixth season went to Netflix, which is when many Star Wars fans watched the series for the first time.
Data on Rebels is more difficult to track, though, in part due to the fact that none of its seasons are streaming originals, unlike the sixth and seventh seasons of The Clone Wars and in part because Parrot Analytics focuses on streaming television. However, Google search trends have shown similar periods of increased interest in Rebels as what The Clone Wars has received, and aside from Ahsoka herself, that interest is likely owed in part due to the mention of a certain Chiss antagonist – Grand Admiral Thrawn, to be specific, as the character was name-dropped at the end of the episode. Aside from new novels from the character’s creator, Timothy Zahn, the only place that the character has appeared prominently has been in Rebels, so that’s not too surprising.
As it stands, The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars are among the most-streamed programs on Disney+, which has had a solid subscriber base that has exceeded Disney’s expectations, but audience engagement from said subscribers tend to skew lower than other streamers. Potentially expanding that interest into Rebels, which is very much a part of the narrative arc that executive producer Dave Filoni has been building over several years at Lucasfilm, is even better for Disney and Lucasfilm’s bottom line, particularly since there have long been rumors of spin-offs connected to that series that could also tie in with The Mandalorian. Much more original content is coming from other Disney subsidiaries like Marvel and Pixar, but for now, Star Wars is one of the biggest drivers of business on the Disney+ platform.
The Mandalorian is streaming exclusively on Disney+, with the first season completed and a second season in progress. A third season is currently being written by Jon Favreau and is in pre-production for a hopeful 2021 release window, while actor Giancarlo Esposito has indicated that there are plans for at least four seasons.