If Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi were to pay attention to the premiere dates of Disney+ Star Wars shows, he would probably comment by saying that the Disney + platform is “Not always on the move.”
If you are a Star Wars fan or if you have been paying attention to the premiere dates of shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor, you would notice that they have been delayed. In contrast, the premiere date of The Bad Batch is mired in ambiguity with several articles questioning the actual release date.
This past May, Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally going to premiere on May 25 but then got pushed to May 27 with two episodes airing. Following Kenobi, the second season of The Bad Batch is slated to premiere on Sept. 28 but many are confused as to when it will really premiere. And the upcoming Andor that had a released date of Aug. 21 was pushed to Sept. 21 with three episodes premiering on that same date.
But one has to wonder: why do these shows keep getting delayed? To this day, there was no explanation as to why Obi-Wan Kenobi had a two day delay after it’s originally slated premiere date.
A quick answer would be COVID-19, the Coronavirus pandemic.
Early this year, Bespin Bullet, a Star Wars insider site, reported that production behind The Mandalorian Season 3 had to be halted “due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles spearheaded by the Omicron variant.” The blog noted that while none of the cast or production team members were affected with the virus, pausing the production was a decision made “to be on the safe side.”
Outside the Star Wars universe, shows like the CW Network’s Superman & Lois, had several delays or pauses within their sophomore season due to COVID-19. Lois Lane actress Bitsie Tulloch revealed these COVID-19-related production delays on her Twitter account and told fans of the Superman show that “we are doing our best to keep shooting during an ongoing pandemic and appreciate your grace and understanding.”
While COVID-19 has been a thorn in the side of production and film crews, one can argue that the production behind animation is slightly different than its live-action counterpart.
With the help of digital tools, voice actors and actresses could simply lend their vocal talents remotely without the need of a studio. Similarly, animators have that same luxury with their art. And the weekly production meetings behind animated shows could simply meet up on Zoom.
So, even with COVID-19, there is very little doubt that Dave Filoni and the creatives behind The Bad Batch had trouble with producing several episodes. And lets not forget, The Bad Batch premiered in 2021; the second year of the Pandemic.
So, what else might have caused these delays?
Another theory could be the upcoming Disney fan event, D23 Expo.
While Star Wars Celebration and San Diego Comic Con 2022 are in our rearview mirror, maybe Kathleen Kennedy and the creatives behind the Star Wars Universe are waiting until D23 to reveal more details about shows like The Bad Batch and Ahsoka. While it still does not explain the Kenobi delays, it could make sense as to why Andor and perhaps, The Bad Batch have been facing their delays. They probably want to give these shows a promotional kick off to hype the shows and their stories and big reveals.
When I discussed this with fellow Dorksider Kieran Burt, he brought up a good point that the delays could have occurred due to the debut of other shows that recently premiered like Marvel’s She-Hulk, HBO’s House of the Dragon, and Amazon’s Rings of Power. Probably Disney and Lucasfilm did not want to debut Andor and The Bad Batch when those shows were kicking off due to the fanbase having interests in other fandoms. Think pro-wrestling’s Monday Night Wars in the 1990s where World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was battling World Championship Wrestling (WCW) over who had the most televised ratings among wrestling fans. Long story short, WWE emerged victorious while WCW went out of business. However, times have changed and instead of watching television, people can stream their shows.
Overall, we may or may not find out as to why Disney and Lucasfilm are delaying our favorite shows. All we can do is speculate. However, what counts is that they will eventually premiere and take us to another part of that amazing galaxy, far, far, away.
Do you have any theories as to why Star Wars Disney+ shows are being delayed? Please post your theory on the comments section and be on the lookout for more Star Wars news of The Dork Side of the Force!