Pricey ‘Star Wars’ Binge

(Above: Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker)

May the Fourth be with you! If you can afford it.

Yes, the annual Star Wars holiday is this Friday, which means a lot of Star Wars viewing marathons are coming up.

To mark the occasion, Amazon Prime released some intriguing statistics, as reported in Broadway World. One in particular caught our eye: ”One Prime household streamed The Empire Strikes Back 446 times!”

Now, we don’t know if The Empire Strikes Back used to be available to Prime subscribers, but it isn’t at present. The only current Amazon option to stream the 1980 classic is to buy the movie for $16.99.

The Empire Strikes Back also topped an Amazon Prime subscriber survey as the favorite of the nine films in the Star Wars franchise, with The Phantom Menace (1999) deemed least favorite. The latter film, by the way, also doesn’t currently stream on Amazon Prime, but you can buy it from Amazon for only $16.99.

At this point in perusing the article, we were quite curious to know which Star Wars movies are streaming on Amazon Prime, since one of the other tidbits was that “one Prime household streamed over 2,000 hours of Star Wars.”

Okay, we thought, The Force Awakens (2015) must be the answer since Amazon said  it “had the highest number of streams last year.” But no! However you don’t need to buy this one: You can rent it for $3.99.

In the survey, 41% of respondents said chronological order is the best way to view the Star Wars films, which would mean starting with the original 1977 film, now titled A New Hope. Amazon said The New Hope is the “most repeatedly streamed” film of the franchise, but…you guessed correctly…A New Hope is only for sale, at $17.99.

(If you’re wondering, episodic order came in as the second best way to watch the Star Wars films, which would mean starting with the despised Phantom Menace).

So, does Amazon Prime – or any subscription streaming service for that matter – offer ANY Star Wars films for your enjoyment this Friday, May 4?

You can rent last year’s hit, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from Amazon and other providers starting at $4.99 SD/$5.99 HD.

Then there’s one series outlier. Netflix subscribers can stream the spinoff 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.


About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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