Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson has assured fans the incoming tie-in products for the film will not contain any plot spoilers. In the case of a hotly-anticipated blockbuster like Episode VIII, moviegoers enjoy following every development and staying up-to-date, but reading that information could be a slippery slope. Many viewers prefer to go into the theater fresh to maintain the element of surprise, making avoiding spoilers an art form that must be perfected. Sometimes, studios can ruin key story beats and reveals in their own marketing materials, much to the chagrin of audiences.
Lucasfilm, however, has found great success with advertising campaigns that tell people the bear minimum and simply tease the journey to come. Even their trailers provide only the vaguest of details that drum up speculation more than anything. With Force Friday II taking place roughly three months before The Last Jedi comes out, it was safe to assume none of the licensing partners would share critical details that were best saved for the premiere. As it turns out, that's exactly the case.
Taking to Twitter to respond to a follower question, Johnson quickly dispelled any fears spoilers await eager consumers in the stores on Force Friday II. Obviously, fans will see what the characters and ships look like, but nothing really beyond that.
Nah, unless seeing what characters & ships look like count, we were careful to make sure the toys & toy marketing don't spoil anything.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) August 31, 2017
This isn't entirely surprising, since we've learned Lucasfilm doesn't even reveal major twists and turns to Hasbro. Of course, toy companies are provided with enough information to make a compelling product line for the first wave, but they don't know the full story. With this in mind, it's easy to understand why the numerous toy leaks that plagued The Last Jedi for months weren't a huge deal. They were essentially reaffirming what fans already know about the film or confirming smaller rumors like Supreme Leader Snoke's fancy golden robe and elite praetorian guard force. As was the case with The Force Awakens, it's likely a second wave of figures is being planned once people get a chance to see Episode VIII and the statute of limitations on spoilers has been lifted. For now, viewers shouldn't scout the aisles for clues about the narrative.
Interestingly, Johnson's comments here are in stark contrast from the ones he made regarding the incoming blitz of trailers and TV spots earlier this month, when he advised fans to avoid whatever they could between now and December. Of course, those kinds of advertisements are going to show actual footage from the movie in order to get the casual viewers onboard with the next chapter in the saga - quite a different beast from a basic Rey or Kylo Ren action figure. Several people will probably wrestle with the decision of whether or not to click play on a theatrical preview, but at least they can get their Star Wars shopping done with no worries.
Source: Rian Johnson
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019