better late than never

Obi-Wan Kenobi release date change solves a huge Star Wars-Marvel problem

A galaxy far far away is now further away.

We’ll have to wait just a little longer for Ewan McGregor’s return to the Obi-Wan Kenobi role. After announcing an initial release date of May 25th, it looked like Obi-Wan Kenobi would be taking up the same release slot as every Disney+ original series since Loki: Wednesday.

But that changed with an announcement from the official Obi-Wan Kenobi Twitter account this morning, which posted a video of Ewan McGregor saying the release date would be moving from the 25th to the 27th. The first two episodes will premiere then, so it’s a 48 hour wait for double the Obi-Wan. But why did Disney+ make the switch?

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A shift to a Friday release date is nothing new for Disney+. Back in the olden times of WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Disney+ originals released on Friday mornings, but the release of Loki prompted a shift to Wednesdays, probably to avoid Netflix’s usual Friday release date. But with Obi-Wan, it looks like competition isn’t a concern.

The biggest reason for this shift is probably internal. Marvel and Star Wars live action shows have always taken turns in the spotlight, but with the announcement of Ms. Marvel’s June 8, 2022 premiere it looked like the two franchises would have to share the stage for a long swath of Wednesdays. By moving to Fridays, Obi-Wan Kenobi allows fans to take a break between the two shows and avoids halving interest in either series through a simultaneous release.

It seems like no matter which way you turn, there are more reasons why May 27th is the perfect premiere date. It’s the start of the Star Wars Celebration fan event, which would make the perfect venue for a red carpet premiere and a big-screen showing for Star Wars fans flocking to Anaheim. And why make the announcement today? Why, it’s Ewan McGregor’s 51st birthday, of course.

Without a release date shift, Obi-Wan Kenobi would have conflicted with the release of Ms. Marvel. Marvel Studios

However, May 27th, the Friday before Memorial Day, is also the premiere date for the first part of Stranger Things Season 4 over on Netflix. This could be a problem for Obi-Wan Kenobi, or it could be a bold declaration. If there’s any show that could hold its own alongside Netflix’s mainstay sci-fi thriller, it’s the long-awaited return of Obi-Wan to the Star Wars galaxy.

The Inverse Analysis — What does this mean for the future of Disney+ programming? Possibly more simultaneous Marvel and Star Wars releases, as both of their live action worlds are expanding. Maybe Wednesdays will become designated Marvel days, and Fridays will be for Star Wars fans. The franchises will just have to share the weeks to come.

Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres May 27th on Disney+.