Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and started releasing new films in the Star Wars franchise in 2015, they've established some clear patterns when it comes to their promotional and marketing efforts. For instance, the studio unveils a teaser trailer in the spring, which is what's expected for this December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A few months before the movie's premiere, retailers take part in the highly-publicized Force Friday event, when the first wave of tie-in merchandise becomes available. This was the case for both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so many believed there'd be a Force Friday for Episode VIII.
With Rogue One still enjoying its highly lucrative box office run and plans for its home media release coming into place, Lucasfilm has been relatively quiet about how they'll handle Star Wars 8. That said, it was only a matter of time until something was announced, and now a possible date for the Last Jedi event has been revealed.
According to JediBibliothek (hat tip Star Wars News Net), 2017's Force Friday will take place on September 1. This is pretty much in line with previous years; the Force Awakens event was held on September 5, while Rogue One's was on September 30. That seems to be the sweet spot for the studio, as they reveal all the various products in plenty of time for early holiday shopping as anticipation for the next film reaches a fever pitch.
So far, no potential products have been officially confirmed, but one only has to look at the past to know there will be a wide assortment of toys, collectibles, and other items on store shelves. Last month, a rumor emerged indicating that LEGO sets of First Order TIE bombers will be among the products customers can purchase, so it would appear vehicles are one thing that's in store. It will be interesting to see how much of The Last Jedi is covered on Force Friday, keeping in mind Lucasfilm likes to be very secretive. Fans might recall that for The Force Awakens, many of the action figures were based on scenes from the film's first act, and it wasn't until months later more were revealed. That will probably be the scenario for Episode VIII as well so there isn't too much revealed before its premiere.
When the merchandise does come out, fans will of course be closely examining anything they can get their hands on for possible clues and/or confirmation of speculation. That said, it's probably best to not overanalyze the toys. Manufacturers have a habit of including accessories (and even entire characters) that have nothing to do with the movie's story, and that will most likely happen here. Granted, there will some connection between the film and its toys, but every once in a while there's a Constable Zuvio who is there only for collectors who need to get it all. It will be fascinating to see the first wave of products when the fall gets closer.
Source: JediBibliothek (via Star Wars News Net)
- 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