Many fans are well aware that the Star Wars franchise is a massive merchandising machine, particularly when it comes to toys. Ever since Kenner's infamous "Empty Box" campaign in 1977, children everywhere have rushed out to pick up the latest products to create their own adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Since the first film premiered, several companies have gotten in on the fun, including (but certainly not limited to) LEGO. The world famous toy line has been connected to Star Wars dating back to 1999, releasing a multitude of play sets, films and videos, and video games - with one for 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming this June.
With the property back at the forefront of popular culture and annual releases planned out for the next handful of years, LEGO is sure to capitalize on all the excitement. On the heels of the debut of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story teaser, the new cast of Rebel Alliance heroes have already gotten the LEGO treatment, perhaps a small taste of what's to come down the line when the promotional campaign for the spinoff truly heats up.
On their Facebook page, LEGO unveiled an image featuring some characters from Rogue One. It is obviously modeled after the first official cast picture that was shared at Star Wars Celebration last year. Check it out below:
The photo exists mainly as a cute celebration of Rogue One's impending arrival and to offer fans a tease of LEGO's plans for the movie. Of course, there will be Rogue One themed LEGO sets, most likely hitting stores on Force Friday 2016 this September. There's also a strong possibility that the company will turn the film into a video game, considering that every other installment in the series has received that treatment. The LEGO Star Wars games have always been well-received and sold high numbers, so they won't want to miss out on all the potential revenue.
As the Rogue One merchandise makes its way to consumers, there will be an onus on the manufacturers to make sure all of the movie's principal characters are represented. Last year, the hashtag #WheresRey went viral, as fans pointed out how difficult it was to find products for The Force Awakens protagonist Rey. Rogue One has a female lead in Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso, and viewers are already excited to see her in action. It would be a shame if Jyn was conspicuously absent from the shelves, but hopefully that won't be an issue. Companies will most likely wish to avoid another controversy and make sure that there's enough Jyn merchandise to meet demand. After all, Hasbro was quick to add Rey to Star Wars Monopoly when her exclusion from the board game made headlines. Ideally, everyone will be better prepared this time around.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will see theatrical release in the U.S. on December 16th, 2016, followed byStar Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017; the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018; Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019; and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.