Tales of the Jedi proves the streaming ‘binge model’ doesn’t work for Star Wars

Ahsoka Tano from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI", season 1 exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Ahsoka Tano from "STAR WARS: TALES OF THE JEDI", season 1 exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

When Tales of the Jedi premiered in October 2022, the Star Wars fandom buzzed with excitement, fascination, and — as it often does — a healthy dose of controversy.

Not even a week after all six episodes of the miniseries dropped all at once on the platform, most of the conversation around Tales of the Jedi had already significantly faded.

This likely would not have been the case if the series had been spread out over six weeks rather than debuting in full all in one day.

Other than Star Wars VisionsTales of the Jedi is the only series released on Disney+ that has not followed mostly a weekly release schedule. Shows such as The Mandalorian, Andor, The Bad Batch, and even The Clone Wars Season 7 — with the exception of occasionally releasing several premiere episodes at once — have all followed a weekly release model, and this seems to be more common on streaming platforms at this time.

It does make sense that shows like Visions and Tales of the Jedi followed the so-called “binge model” streaming was once known for. These shows were anthology-style stories no longer than about 20 minutes each (most of them less) that, in many ways, benefited from audiences being able to sit down and absorb them in full in one sitting.

But Tales of the Jedi proves this style of TV streaming is not as effective in facilitating conversation among viewers. When a show drops one episode at a time from week to week, there is room for fans to digest what they’ve watched, talk it over with friends and other fans, predict what might happen next, and see how these stories slowly build up to their climactic finales.

This does not happen with the binge model, and did not happen with Tales of the Jedi. People move on quickly when shows end, especially online. Of course, Tales also suffered from being overshadowed by Andora tug-of-war between live-action and animated Star Wars we’ll continue to see more and more of moving forward. But even if Andor had already ended by that time, a week after Ahsoka defended endless blaster bolts and Dooku crushed Bryce Dallas Howard with a hangar door, people would have said all they needed to say as quickly as they could, and that would have been the end of it. It was the end of it.

Anthology shows may not have a choice in how they’re released, and that doesn’t decrease their quality or overall value in any way.

But the conversations surrounding these stories and their characters could have gone on so much longer, and may have dug so much deeper, if the show hadn’t been in and out of the discourse in the blink of an eye.

All episodes of Tales of the Jedi are available to stream now exclusively on Disney+.

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