With the release of The Mandalorian on Disney+, it seems like Star Wars has changed its rules when it comes to spoilers. The streaming service released two episodes during its launch week and is unveiling a new episode every Friday. Baby Yoda is indisputably the breakout star of The Mandalorian and Star Wars wasted no time in celebrating the character.
Star Wars has a history of shrouding their projects in secrecy. Since Disney took over the franchise, the marketing campaigns for upcoming films have hardly scratched the surface when it came to primary plot points. Whereas Force Awakens promoted the continuation of the Skywalker Saga, The Last Jedi honed in on the nostalgia with the prominence of Luke's return. As for the storyline focusing on Rey, Finn, Poe, and the new-age cast, most information was kept vague at best.
With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on the horizon, Disney is sticking with the spoiler-free type of promotional campaign. Other than the return of Emperor Palpatine and the ongoing war between the Resistance and First Order, there's not much that fans can gather from the trailers. For Disney's first major Star Wars TV series, the company is stepping away from the secretive approach. Rather than stick to their ambiguous method at posting non-spoiler images and context, the official Star Wars Twitter account posted a picture of Baby Yoda. This posting came just days after The Mandalorian debuted on Disney+, giving subscribers a very short window before catching the potential spoiler.
The introduction of Baby Yoda, referred to as "The Child," instantly threw viewers into a frenzy. Once Star Wars posted about the adorable character, fans felt free to share their reactions to the rumored canon connection. It's a bit surprising that Disney would allow quick spoilers for their TV shows when they purposely keep key plot points out of their campaigns for movies. Even after the feature films' releases, Disney and the Star Wars social channels give viewers ample time before sharing anything that could be categorized as a spoiler. The Baby Yoda post seems to indicate that TV shows will follow a different set of rules than movies in the Star Wars universe.
Some fans had heard rumors about the Star Wars canon connection to The Mandalorian but a 50-year-old baby from Yoda's species was a complete surprise. Some would say, however, that Baby Yoda was a missed marketing opportunity. If Star Wars and Disney+ used Baby Yoda as a selling point prior to the launch of the streaming service, more viewers would have surely tuned in. Instead, Star Wars had to rely on the buzz from launch day viewers to spread the hype. To keep that buzz rolling, Star Wars must have realized that they had something special and they had no choice but to get in on the Baby Yoda fandom, even if that meant spoiling the character for potential subscribers.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019