In its first 24 hours online, the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer scored more views than previews for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Earlier this month, Lucasfilm finally revealed some long-awaited official details for their upcoming blockbuster, unveiling the film's title and first bits of footage during Celebration Chicago. The fact that Episode IX is the conclusion of the Skywalker saga would be reason enough for fans to anticipate it, but the hype went into overdrive when it was revealed Emperor Palpatine is making a surprise return.
The Rise of Skywalker will cap off what's sure to be an incredible year for Disney, which has other massive tentpoles like Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, and Frozen 2 hitting theaters in 2019. Given how popular several of their properties are, it isn't surprising to see Disney's movies set all-time trailer view records shortly after they drop. And while Episode IX couldn't approach the overall marks, it did post a new high for the Star Wars franchise.
According to Deadline, the Rise of Skywalker teaser had 111 million views online during its first 24 hours, topping the figures of Force Awakens and Last Jedi within the same timeframe. Episode IX actually more than doubled Episode VII's totals, and got 20 million more views than Episode VIII.
While those numbers are definitely impressive, they obviously pale in comparison to what Endgame (289 million) and Lion King (224.6 million) posted late last year. But it's important to keep in mind that the Rise of Skywalker trailer officially premiered during the film's panel at Celebration, and a number of people likely caught it on the livestream. That probably impacted the number of views the actual trailer video got on the Star Wars YouTube channel. In the meantime, Skywalker's reported "EOR viral rate" of 295:1 beats those of Last Jedi, Force Awakens, and Rogue One. That shows the trailer launch was a monumental success and got fans buzzing, so Star Wars is very much still at the forefront of the zeitgeist. Despite the toxic discourse surrounding The Last Jedi and Solo flopping at the box office, people are excited to see The Rise of Skywalker.
All of this bodes well for what's sure to be a comprehensive marketing campaign that takes place over the next several months. Star Wars should have a presence at San Diego Comic-Con in July, and there's another Force Friday merchandise event planned for October. If interest in The Rise of Skywalker is this high at the outset of promotion, then Lucasfilm may have another juggernaut on their hands come December. The previous three Star Wars movies to debut over the holidays all made more than $1 billion worldwide each, so it would be very surprising if Episode IX didn't accomplish that feat as well.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019