Star Wars

Ahsoka Just Broke a Huge Streaming Rule — And Made a Change for the Better

Now you don't have to choose between fandom and sleep.


Ever since the first days of Netflix originals, there have been unspoken rules about streaming releases. New movies and TV episodes were almost always made available at midnight PST, meaning any east coast fans would have to wait until 3:00 am (or, more realistically, the following day) to watch something new.

There were exceptions, like HBO’s releases in parallel with its cable channel broadcasts, but the standard was set at midnight PST. The timing makes sense from a marketing standpoint, as it ensures releases come out on the same day worldwide, with no confusion caused by the International Date Line. But for hardcore fans who wanted to watch right away, it meant late nights or early mornings on weekdays.

Maybe that’s why Ahsoka is trying something different. The official Star Wars Twitter account has been advertising a midnight PST on August 23 release date for months, but now that’s abruptly changed to 6:00 pm PST on Tuesday, August 22.

This is a big development for Star Wars fans. Disney+ releases have almost always followed the midnight PST standard, aside from when Obi-Wan Kenobi premiered a few hours early to coincide with the opening of 2022’s Star Wars Celebration fan convention. But this could (and should) be the new streaming trend. Game of Thrones, which had a simulcast streaming model, was pessimistically heralded as the last show fans would watch together, and that prophecy has come to pass. Nowadays, new shows on Disney+ and Netflix are watched at our own pace, not collectively.

That’s less exciting for fans, and it also builds less hype for streamers. It’s simply more fun to watch together, and Ahsoka could be the experiment we need to bring fans back together the way television is meant to.

Ahsoka now premieres August 22, 2023 at 6:00 pm EST on Disney+.

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