With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story closing down its $1 billion box office run, Lucasfilm and their many fans are starting to turn their attention to this year's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. For many, the eighth chapter in the Skywalker saga is their most anticipated movie of the year, and audiences cannot wait to see the story continue. The studio has characteristically been quiet on revealing any official details, only unveiling the title last month. Since then, viewers have tried to deduct its many meanings while at the same time wondering when we might get our first look at what writer/director Rian Johnson has in store.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy mentioned that the marketing campaign would not begin in full force until the spring, implying The Last Jedi will not be one of the tentpoles that receives a television spot during the Super Bowl LI broadcast on Sunday. Some are hoping that a preview for Episode VIII is attached to fellow Disney release Beauty and the Beast, which is expected to be a box office juggernaut. However, it would appear those eager to see footage will have to wait until April, when this year's Star Wars Celebration is held in Orlando.
Star Wars News Net heard from a source that Lucasfilm is currently editing a Last Jedi behind-the-scenes reel (similar to the ones shown for The Force Awakens and Rogue One), which will constitute as the first look at the upcoming blockbuster. Presumably, the initial theatrical preview would debut later at the event. If this is true, it honestly is not the most surprising scenario. As SWNN points out, April is traditionally the month Disney releases a new Star Wars trailer, and with Celebration happening over the spring, the studio would want the initial Last Jedi teaser to be the centerpiece of the convention. Last year's Celebration was criticized for a lack of content on the film side of the Star Wars universe, so this is the obvious way to avoid that problem in 2017.
This probably is not what impatient moviegoers wanted to hear, but it makes sense on multiple levels. Awareness for The Last Jedi clearly is not an issue, so Lucasfilm wouldn't necessarily have much to gain by releasing a trailer before April. Episode VIII is obviously going to be a primary focus at Celebration, and the way to make it a truly memorable occasion is to close out the panel with a teaser. All eyes will be on the galaxy far, far away that week, so Disney won't have to worry about any competition or getting lost in a news cycle (which is rarely a problem for them). Additionally, The Last Jedi would then have a flashy new trailer to play throughout the summer movie season, ahead of major films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman.
In the three years they've been releasing new Star Wars movies, Disney has quickly ironed out a solid marketing strategy with clear patterns that are replicated on an annual basis. It is interesting to consider that fans will allegedly see a behind-the-scenes package before an official trailer, but this is more or less how the Mouse House has run things dating back to 2015. There are still a couple of months until Celebration, but soon fans will be able to dissect every frame for clues about the storyline.
Source: 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