J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is still a little over a week from reaching theaters, but it's already made $50 million in ticket sales thanks to preorders. With awareness like that, it's clear that Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm no longer need to promote their massive tentpole. However, the Mouse House's marketing department keeps churning out new materials, unveiling a collection of new television ads recently.
The studio continues to show more of the film without giving anything away, which has been the calling card of the campaign from the beginning. That strategy continues with the release of fresh images from the movie, showcasing the various heroes and villains that moviegoers have become very familiar with over the past handful of months.
MovieJones.com had the pictures. While they don't provide any clues regarding the Star Wars 7 narrative, they're still eye-catching and will be of interest to fans counting down the days to December 18:
The shot of Rey alone on Jakku is visually striking, as it's an illustration of the loneliness she's feeling when the film begins. According to various trailers, she's spent her whole life waiting for her family to come get her and has led a solitary life. Seeing Hux interact with Kylo Ren will fuel much speculation, since Gleeson has suggested the two have a rather complicated relationship in the First Order hierarchy. Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is also lurking in the background, calling into question the nature of the conversation depicted.
It's no surprise that the latest Star Wars marketing items give fans more aspects to theorize over as opposed to providing concrete answers. A key part of what Disney has done is preserving the major secrets of Star Wars 7. Abrams is a director known for his infamous mystery box style of filmmaking, but it was not just his idea to keep everything under lock and key. At a Force Awakens press conference, he gave much of the credit to the studio.
"It was something that while we were working on the movie, I realized how engaged with the fans and forthcoming Lucasfilm had always been, and my nature, which is to keep things quiet, was something that I was certain we were going to have fights about and my wanting to keep the audience surprised when they went to see the movie. But Disney, to my shock, was arguing to not ruin, not reveal, not show, every story beat. And we’ve all seen trailers for films that literally show you the movie in Cliff’s Notes form and then you go to see the film and you’re like, yeah, that was literally the movie. I saw it in a two minute, ten second piece."
Many moviegoers will share Abrams' sentiments and find it a refreshing change of pace that Disney was not pushing for spoiler-heavy trailers. As the controversy surrounding the latest Batman V Superman trailer has shown, people prefer to be surprised by a movie's twists and turns, especially when it's a project millions were going to see opening day anyway. Disney has known for three years Star Wars 7 is going to be a $1 billion cash cow, so it's nice to see they agreed with Abrams and felt playing it close to the chest was the way to go. It's only added to the excitement and anticipation. Soon, all the answers will be known.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens releases in theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Sources: Movie Jones, Walt Disney Pictures