Disney+ has injected both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the galaxy far, far away with a shot of adrenaline that they are still riding high to this day. Shows like Loki and The Mandalorian have allowed both Marvel and Star Wars to command conversation for month-long spans, snowballing their momentum with each weekly release.
For over a year, Marvel and Star Wars have passed each other like ships in the night on Disney+. The Mandalorian Season 2 concluded weeks before WandaVision began streaming on Disney+, allowing each project to get its own social spotlight.
This past December, Hawkeye aired its season finale one week before The Book of Boba Fett premiered, once again avoiding any overlap between the universes. There would be a brief intersection, as Marvel Studios' Eternals would migrate from theaters to a Disney+ debut on the same day as Boba Fett Chapter 3.
Boba Fett would air until February 9, giving Moon Knight plenty of breathing room before it debuts on March 30. The cycle continues after Moon Knight, as Oscar Isaac's MCU debut wraps up three weeks before Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi begins on May 25.
While the House of Mouse's most lucrative pillars have stayed in their own lanes for over a year, their paths are merging for the first time this summer.
Marvel and Star Wars' Upcoming Disney+ Collision
Hello there, Kamala Khan.
Ms. Marvel's first full trailer confirmed the Iman Vellani-led series would be premiering on Wednesday, June 8, as it stretches its six-week run up to the theatrical release of Thor: Love and Thunder. Not only will Ms. Marvel have a brief overlap with Thor 4, much like Hawkeye did with Spider-Man: No Way Home, but it will air simultaneously with Lucasfilm's Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Kenobi is scheduled to debut its first of six episodes on Wednesday, May 25, just two weeks before Ms. Marvel begins its run. Barring any multi-episode premieres for either show, this means Kenobi and Ms. Marvel will drop new episodes on the same day, at the same time, for four straight weeks. This would be the first time Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm have aired live-action shows in the same week, let alone the exact same day.
Cause for Kamala Khan Concern?
Both The Book of Boba Fett and WandaVision proved that there are peaks and valleys within these franchises' weekly releases. Some have come close, but neither Marvel nor Star Wars has released a show that was all gas, no breaks each and every week.
That said, some IPs are just flashier than others.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a project fans have been asking for since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012. It began as a trilogy, morphed into an A Star Wars Story anthology film, and finally materialized into a limited series for Disney+. Reuniting prequel trilogy fan favorites Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen has only increased anticipation, which has reached a fever pitch after the show dropped its first teaser.
Ms. Marvel is a very different story. Initially expected to be on Marvel's 2021 release slate, Ms. Marvel experienced a number of internal delays that kept its status TBD for well over a year. Mix in a batch of reshoots eight months after filming wrapped and woes about the titular character's power set, and Marvel has one of the rockiest roads to releases in recent MCU memory.
While post-production issues shouldn't cause concern over the show's quality, dropping it parallel to Kenobi puts it in a tough position. Ms. Marvel's series premiere comes on the same day as Kenobi Episode 3. If Kenobi has WandaVision levels of social chatter leading up to that week, Ms. Marvel could get lost in the shuffle before it even has a chance to breathe.
While the Kenobi and Ms. Marvel collision course is currently active, there's still plenty of time to pivot.
Summer 2021's Loki was scheduled for Friday releases until Marvel Studios switched it to Wednesdays, just one month before Tom Hiddleston's solo series would debut. Hawkeye was expected to air its season finale on the same day as The Book of Boba Fett's series debut until Marvel announced a two-episode premiere for the Jeremy Renner-led project, allowing it to end before Temuera Morrison's show began.
It's incredibly unlikely that the full Kenobi series would be dropped all at once or Disney+ would debut six episodes across two weeks, but there is an alternative that fans have been clamoring for for years: Kenobi premieres episodes at a nightly hour.
All Disney+ projects have dropped their new episodes at 3 AM EST, which has consequently axed the idea of "live" viewing. This has been favorable among consumers who like to watch content at their own speed without the pressure of appointment television. That said, there are many who feel that appointment television pressure the next morning, as not watching first thing in the AM puts spoilers at a greater risk.
Giving Ms. Marvel the AM slot and saving Kenobi for Wednesday evenings not only allows both shows to get their flowers every week, but it gives Disney+ the opportunity to test out a model that could take the streaming service to the next level. While HBO programs like Game of Thrones and Euphoria are intended to primarily air on the premium cable channel, they also debut simultaneously on HBO Max, and most viewers tune in through the latter.
Airing Kenobi on a prime 10 PM EST time slot on Wednesday evenings not only makes it appointment television, but further transforms it into an event series. The scope of this show looks unlike anything Disney+ has ever done before, making a first-time release model all the more warranted.
For now, Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on May 25, and Ms. Marvel starts streaming on June 8.