With the Disney+ streaming service in operation as of Nov. 12, 2019, the amount of interest for “Disney” on Google spiked considerably, showing that there is broad interest in the new service. However, even with the premiere of the much touted #StarWars Internet show #TheMandalorian on the new service, the show’s premier and the launch of the service itself has not correlated to an increase in overall interest for “Star Wars” raising the possibility again that “Star Wars” is in trouble, as we previously posted. While “Star Wars” fans are giving “The Mandalorian” overall positive reviews, the public at large doesn’t seem to be interested.
In the weeks leading up to the releases of “Star Wars VII: #TheForceAwakens” in 2015, “#RogueOne: A Star Wars Story” in 2016 and “Star Wars VIII: #TheLastJedi” in 2017, interest in “Star Wars” would always begin to increase about 4-6 weeks before the actual movie release date. Now, with the release of the ninth movie (“Star Wars IX: #TheRiseOfSkywalker”) just over 5 weeks away, no similar increase in overall interest for “Star Wars” is occurring according to “Google Trends”. (There was also a very small increase in interest for “#Solo: A Star Wars Story” in May, 2018, but it was very small as compared to the peaks that occurred for the previous movies.)
Now, if we include the search trends for “Disney” with “Star Wars”, you can see that historically, when interest in “Star Wars” was peaking, there were similar small increases in interest for “Disney”. However, with interest now spiking rapidly for “Disney” due to the premiere of the Disney+ streaming service on Nov. 12, 2019, there is no corresponding increase in interest for “Star Wars” even though “The Mandalorian” is getting a lot of attention on social media.
What these trends also show is that on average, interest in Disney averages much higher than for “Star Wars” overall; but while an increase in interest for “Star Wars” appears to correlate with a small increase in interest for Disney, that correlation is not two-way. Disney may own “Star Wars”, but that ownership alone has not lead to an overall increase in interest in the brand, except during movie releases and only until shortly after the release of “The Last Jedi”. This suggests that “The Last Jedi” may have damaged overall interest in the “Star Wars” brand, which is not what Rian Johnson probably intended when, in “The Last Jedi”, he wanted to “destroy the past”.
Additional evidence that the “Star Wars” franchise may be in trouble due to lost interest is demonstrated by recently taken video showing hundreds, if not thousands, of boxes containing unsold “Star Wars” toys being put into an industrial shredder to be trashed, as shown at the end of the following video.
Only time will tell when interest for “The Rise of Skywalker” begins to reveal itself.