Fans are counting down the days until Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes its way into theaters, and Lucasfilm is about to turn up their marketing efforts to 11. Last month saw the release of the full length trailer (complete with a Darth Vader tease), and in the near future the first wave of tie-in merchandise will hit store shelves. September 30, 2016 is locked in as "Rogue Friday," and just like last year's Force Friday, consumers will be flooding the aisles to pick up the latest Star Wars products.
Lucasfilm has gotten creative about promoting their newest toy line, partnering with a group of Star Wars fans to write and produce the "Go Rogue" web series, which features numerous products that will soon be available. The first two installments of the four chapter narrative have made their way online, and now the third episode has been posted. You can watch the video above.
The action picks up on the planet Eadu, where the alien Pao meets up with Jyn Erso, Chirrut Îmwe, and Baze Malbus. They've located the second half of the Death Star instruction manual, but are unable to get to it due to a heavy Imperial presence, including the Rapid Fire AT-ACT play set from Hasbro. In classic Star Wars fashion, K-2SO and Cassian Andor steal the vehicle's remote control to take out the stormtroopers and clear the path. As Jyn snags the plans, Cassian and K-2SO are captured by another squadron, who bring the rebels (and the first half of the instructions) to Director Krennic on board a Star Destroyer.
Unlike the earlier videos (which had several types of toys), this one is mostly a showcase for Hasbro's action figures, particularly those of the 3.75 inch variety. Krennic, who was previously portrayed by a Funko Pop, has his alteration turned into an amusing joke about his new appearance. A few of the spaceship toys are also shown, once again placing the U-wing and TIE Striker in the spotlight. A key part of the Disney era Star Wars films has been combining the old and fresh elements of the franchise, creating a marriage of the familiar and the novel. Fans have seen the Galactic Civil War on the big screen before, but this time there are some other wrinkles to keep an eye out for. Look for these aspects to continue to have a strong presence in advertising.
With just one episode remaining before "Go Rogue" reaches its conclusion, it will be interesting to see how the team wraps it all up. One would think it will end with the Rebels completing their mission and bringing the plans to their superiors, ending the series on a high note. Many will be curious to see if a Darth Vader toy (of any kind) will try to stop the heroes, since the Sith Lord will obviously be pushed heavily in the months leading up to Rogue One's release. All in all, this has been a fun way to raise awareness for the toys, and with a video contest planned for fans, these bits will serve as inspiration for others.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Star Wars YouTube