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Why Obi-Wan Kenobi Hit: A Bittersweet Reunion

Obi-Wan Kenobi is a smash hit.

The highly anticipated Star Wars series soared to become Disney Plus’s most watched premiere to date. Even pitted head-to-head against the launch of Stranger Things season four, the show managed to rack up more than one billion viewing minutes during its first week.

What’s more, the show didn’t disappoint. With an 83% fresh rate on Rotten Tomatoes, and more than 1.8 million viewers for the season finale, both fans and critics have gotten behind their favorite Jedi Knight.

Here at Quilt.AI, we decided to break down why Obi-Wan Kenobi was such a success. Using our culture AI, we analyzed thousands of Tweets about the series to find out what launched it to such enormous heights and kept fans hooked.

This week, our analysis focuses on the show’s bittersweet flavor — both within the story and for fans of the Star Wars franchise.

Palpable sadness

Obi-Wan Kenobi was received with overwhelming delight on Twitter. Our culture AI identified more than 50% of tweets about the show as reflecting joy.

But a darker, more concerning emotion looms strong in second place:

It’s important to know that these tweets expressing sadness rarely criticized the show. Very few users were disappointed in the show or otherwise sad about its execution.

Instead, they expressed a different kind of sadness.

A Tragic Reunion

Twitter users couldn’t help but express their sadness about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s ending. The show was a tearjerker for many, and it tapped into the nostalgia many feel for other Star Wars films.

Most notably, the show brought two beloved characters back together for the first time in 17 years.

Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi had several showdowns throughout the run of the series, and their relationship was clearly the show’s main attraction. As a result, fans flocked to see these two characters confront each other on screen in the finale.

The tragedy of the final battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader was unmistakable. On Twitter, users celebrated their reunion and lamented their downfall in equal turn:

The fascination with the clash of these two storied characters was reflected all over our culture AI’s findings. Fear was the number one emotion found in images from the show on Twitter, but one outlier drove this frightening trend identified by our AI tools:

The final image we see of Darth Vader in Obi-Wan is moving, terrifying, and tragic all at the same time. This is what fans came to see, even if it is just a little heartbreaking.

Fans are left wanting more

Another large contingent of Star Wars fans made their sadness known on Twitter, but not for the same reason:

There was a substantial disappointment that Obi-Wan Kenobi was over so quickly. Many Kenobi fans were so hooked on the show that they now feel lost without it.

Some of this disappointment crossed over to anger when the news dropped that Obi-Wan was originally pitched as a movie trilogy to Disney:

The series may have had the dark, melancholy story that fans have been waiting for, but users on Twitter have made it clear that they were left wanting more. In some cases, fans may even feel a bit let down.

Obi-Wan Kenobi reunited two characters that haven’t shared the screen in nearly 20 years. It also reunited Star Wars fans with those characters, to the delight of thousands. However, if one thing is clear from our findings, it is that leaving those reunions behind can be a little bit bittersweet.

Write to anurag.banerjee@quilt.ai for more insights about your favorite brands and market trends.

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