The six-episode Obi-Wan Kenobi series will wrap up next Wednesday, June 22, on Disney+ with the finale, but it looks like a select few fans will be able to see it that day on the big screen as well.
On the Cineplex website, there’s a new listing for “Obi-Wan Kenobi – Entire Season and Q&A” that shows up for a handful of theaters internationally, with one showtime on that date. The entire runtime for the event, which is said to include a live Q&A (at least in Toronto, Canada, it seems), checks in at 5 hours and 20 minutes.
It’s a bit strange that there’s been no official announcement about it, but I’m guessing that could be because of the extremely limited number of theaters which will be participating in this event. Perhaps the thinking is that since it’s only including a few locations, it’s not worth making a bigger push. We’ll see what’s up with it, assuming it actually happens.
So you might even wonder why I’m bothering to bring it up, but I do think it’s notable that Lucasfilm seems to be having a theatrical release event of a Disney+ series, which regardless of how small it might be, marks a first for the company. This will be the first time that Disney has brought one of its original shows to the big screen, and that’s notable. It comes on the heels of a special event screening at Celebration of the entire Siege of Mandalore arc of The Clone Wars as well, so perhaps we’re seeing some slight movement here.
Disney has released films both in theaters and on the streaming platform before, so that’s not uncommon, but they haven’t done it with shows. There are some fairly obvious reasons why that’s more logistically complicated (not least of which is the significantly longer runtime), meaning that a full theatrical release is extremely unlikely for any series. But doing special event screenings for big hits like this? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Because for as great as this new era of Star Wars is – and it’s truly great, opening the doors to tons of storytelling we wouldn’t be getting on the big screen – I really hope that Lucasfilm and Disney don’t forget that the franchise is still at its heart about films, and there’s nothing quite like experiencing a Star Wars project in theaters together with other fans. So especially with the theatrical release schedule having slowed down considerably, I’d be in favor of Disney testing event screenings like this out more frequently with select projects.