Credit: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker official poster

It has taken The Mandalorian three weeks to knock Stranger Things off its throne as the most in-demand U.S. show, but how does Disney+ build on that? There’s only one way: they should release Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker early. I mean, January 2020 early.

It’s no surprise The Mandalorian is the most in-demand show. It’s Star Wars — and it’s good.

What is surprising is that Stranger Things remained number one for 21 weeks. That’s 21 weeks since the show launched, and most sane people binged it. Will The Mandalorian have such a lengthy shelf life at the top?

The rankings below are from Parrot Analytics.

  1. The Mandalorian (Disney+) – 100,295,824
  2. Stranger Things (Netflix) – 81,243,962
  3. Titans (DC Universe) – 71,182,883
  4. The Crown (Netflix) – 41,714,338
  5. Castle Rock (Hulu) – 30,792,714
  6. Lucifer (Netflix) – 29,598,081
  7. The Man in The High Castle (Amazon Prime Video) – 28,816,285
  8. Good Omens (Amazon Prime Video) – 26,414,194
  9. The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) – 25,699,108
  10. Atypical (Netflix) – 25,372,624

The score given is based on the Parrot Analytics demand measurement. This weights viewership, engagement, and desire to score and rank a show. The difference in demand is startling. The Mandalorian (#1) is 2.5 times more in-demand than The Crown (#4). That’s the power of Baby Yoda.

Disney+ Star (Wars) power

Two things have become clear from three weeks with Disney+.

  1. Disney+ is a competent babysitter.
  2. It’s a platform desperate for original content.

In the report by Parrot Analytics, it’s revealed that demand for The Mandalorian has tripled since its first week. So, what happens when the show is over December 27th, will it linger like Stranger Things, or go into decline? Disney+ can’t run that risk. They need something to keep the show and service hot.

If they don’t, it could end up as eight episodes followed by a mass unsubscribing from the service until the next season or show. Disney+ has nothing new ready to release unless they think outside of the box.

A disturbance in the Force

This is admittedly a stretch, but what if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands on Disney+ January 2020? It’s the perfect carrot to dangle to keep people subscribed. Plus it’s the perfect tool to draw more publicity and subscribers, building on The Mandalorian demand.

The movie releases in theatres on December 20. The last episode of The Mandalorian is on the 27th. If on Christmas Day, Disney+ releases an ad that The Rise of Skywalker is coming to Disney+ early, it’ll break the internet.

Streaming is becoming a more preferred means of consuming entertainment. It’s so convenient. That said, Star Wars movies have always been a massive theatrical event. No amount of 4K high-res can keep audiences from seeing The Rise of Skywalker on the big screen.

In the unlikely event the Skywalker saga finale falls short of box-office expectations, it makes even more sense to drop it on Disney+ early. If the movie is good, people will want to go to the theater and experience it with an audience anyway.

As long as the film is satisfying to mass audiences, the box office shouldn’t take a hit. The Rise of Skywalker would be a big boon to Disney+ and would minimally cut into the blockbuster film’s theatrical profit margins.

Anyone on the fence over the service will no longer be on that fence. All they need to do is lock certain content from that seven-day trial.

Right now, all Disney+ has in terms of Star Wars movies arriving are Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Last Jedi. Both of those come out the day before the last episode of The Mandalorian. Both will arrive with a whimper.

An announcement for The Rise of Skywalker would change everything.