The autumn of Star Wars is about to begin. With the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens just four months away, our culture is about to become even more saturated with all things Star Wars than it normally is, with new trailers, TV commercials, and plot and set leaks emerging on a nearly-daily basis between now and December.
And that’s to say nothing of the merchandising tie-ins. Earlier this month Lucasfilm announced seven major brand partners for its promotional campaign – Covergirl/Max Factor, Duracell, Daimler/Chrysler, General Mills, HP, Subway, and Verizon – and those partnerships have already given us everything from Star Wars Makeup to Duracell-branded lightsabers to Star Wars Cereal, featuring “fruity cereal pieces in Star Wars aircraft shapes and marshmallows shaped like lightsabers, storm troopers, Yoda and R2-D2.”
Now, it’s Target’s turn to get in on the Force Awakens tie-in action.
Target announced Tuesday that it has launched Share the Force, which it describes as “the first digital collection of Star Wars memories.” The Share the Force website allows Star Wars fans to share their memories, in photo or story form, with the memories all eventually archived at Lucasfilm. Celebrities such as Minka Kelly, Chris Hardwick, and Bobby Moynihan have submitted memories of their own already. In addition, Target announced that on Sept. 4 – a date it has designated as “Force Friday”- it will release new exclusive merchandise related to The Force Awakens, with midnight openings set for more than 200 stores.
This whole project sounds somewhat silly at first glance. After all, if there’s one thing the world has no shortage of already, it’s people’s deep thoughts about Star Wars. At this point, love of Star Wars isn’t some secret handshake among a select group of nerds and outcasts; it’s one of the most dominant forces (pardon the pun) in all of popular culture, and has been going on four decades now. Most people who love Star Wars have already told their story or shared their opinion, in one way or another, at least once or twice over the years.
That said, the video above is undeniably cute. Star Wars means a great deal to a number of people, and we’re getting to the point now where Star Wars fandom is second and, in some cases, third-generational. Anyone who’s ever sat down to watch the original trilogy with their own children knows how special that bond is. George Lucas himself, when he sold his company to Disney back in 2012, even said that “one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next.”
As for the toys, it’s not as if toy tie-ins haven’t been a huge part of Star Wars since the beginning. Hopefully, we’ll finally see the release of the Chewbaccpack.
The Share the Force page is online now. Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens will be released Dec. 18, 2015.