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One Piece: Did Star Wars Inspire Netflix's Speedy Season 2 Renewal?

"One Piece" is Netflix's latest success story, and the series will officially be returning for Season 2. The second installment was announced just two weeks after Season 1 dropped on the streaming service, and some fans think they know exactly what is behind the speedy renewal.

On a Reddit thread about the show's Season 2 announcement, u/NotTheCraftyVeteran observed, "Two weeks is practically super speed for a modern Netflix renewal. Stuff like Wednesday and Sandman took ages ..." Other fans agreed that even taking into account the general popularity of Netflix's live-action "One Piece," the swiftness of the renewal was a surprise. However, some pointed to one important factor that may have played a role in the decision: merchandising. 

One popular "One Piece" character who did not make their live-action debut in Season 1, but is expected to in Season 2, is the outrageously cute Tony Tony Chopper. Some fans on Reddit think that Netflix likely sees a huge opportunity for the character to be their answer to the "Star Wars" universe's Baby Yoda aka Grogu, both on the show and on store shelves.

Could Tony Tony Chopper be as big a hit as Grogu?

Netflix is known for cutting shows or holding off before renewing them for more seasons. As such, the speedy renewal of "One Piece" seems quite unusual, at least if we're judging the streaming giant's recent trends. However, some Reddit users think the opportunity to capitalize on Tony Tony Chopper merchandising the way Disney+ capitalizes on Grogu may be the answer. 

While discussing the show's merchandising opportunities, u/HokageEzio pointed out that there are already toys modeled after Iñaki Godoy's version of Monkey D. Luffy in the works. But as u/joaocandre pointed out, "Chopper is what Netflix is aiming for I assume." It was u/DiamondMachina who then followed up by adding, "Chopper has potential to be Netflix's own Grogu (Baby Yoda)." 

It remains to be seen whether Netflix's live-action take on Tony Tony Chopper will please fans, and whether the (we assume) inevitable toy versions are a hit with consumers. But considering the outpouring of interest in seeing Tony Tony Chopper in Season 2 of "One Piece" on Reddit, the winds appear to be in their favor.