I feel a great disturbance in the force…
With Star Wars The Force Awakens news dominating the past week, I am starting to believe (and fear) that we are about to enter the final stage in Disney’s grand marketing scheme. And it looks like we are in for a never ending onslaught of peeks, first looks, all new images and (gasp!) three or four new TV spots.
Are we at risk of seeing too much of the new film and, therefore, will it ruin our theatre going experience? In short, yes.
But what I am really wondering… with all the hype surrounding the new entry into the saga – hype that is reaching all time highs now – will we, the fans and audience, actually be able to ENJOY the movie?
In short… maybe.
Yesterday as I was taping an all new Far, Far Away with Tiffany Smith and John Rocha, we got to talking about all the new trailers and footage dropping as of late. Just when we thought the first tv spot was enough, there was an announcement that on Thursday, November 12th, ABC would be giving everyone a special look at The Force Awakens, tying it into ABC’s TGIT line up.
Special look? Wasn’t that special look the final trailer that appeared on Monday Night Football?
Special look? Oh, they must mean that new international trailer that dropped end of last week; the one with a ton of new footage…
Special look? You mean that new TV spot that dropped a couple of days ago?
You can excuse my snark, somewhat – I’m not meaning to sound like a negative nelly. It just occurred to me that, quite suddenly, we are getting A LOT of new Star Wars footage/images/magazine covers served to us. And it’s troubling.
What started as a small teaser a year ago that left fans like me craving more, has now culminated with two teasers, one full length trailer, an international full length trailer (with 65% new footage), a behind the scenes Comic Con video, two rounds of magazine covers, 27 hi-res images, comic book tie in’s and finally, a TV spot – marked as #1. Now we are getting another “special look” on Thursday???
Stop it, Disney. No seriously, I mean this in the best possible way… STOP MARKETING STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS!
Here’s the deal, I get it. I am a different breed of Star Wars fan. I eat, drink and sleep Star Wars. I talk about it on a podcast. I hop from one podcast to another as a special guest, talking about the Saga every time a new poster/trailer/tv spot hits the interwebz. I relentlessly gobble up every cover, poster and set photo. I know the in’s and out’s of the production process and have wildly speculated on everything from Kylo Ren’s place in the new movie to whether or not Daisy Ridley’s Rey is, in fact, Han and Leia’s daughter. I am dangerously close to ruining the movie for myself just by talking about it non-stop. And you are, essentially, giving me what I want, Disney. The numbers don’t lie.
But then it occurred to me, quite suddenly and without warning… What if I just happen to be right and in my speculating, stumble upon a nugget of truth? It is by that thinking that I realized, I am a walking, talking potential spoiler.
And I need to stop.
It all made perfect sense yesterday when ABC announced the “special look” on TGIT… Because with any special look you are at risk of seeing, at least, one new shot – one new scene – one new character perhaps. And when you see these new looks/scenes/characters you immediately place them into a ‘story’ you have been forming in your mind.
New image? A piece of the puzzle fits a slot. New scene? Another story beat reveals itself. New EW cover? Another potential character arc is considered. All this is to say, when you are drummed over the head over and over again the movie can NEVER live up to your expectations. So by that thinking, when December 18th rolls around, will we be able to enjoy Star Wars the Force Awakens?
The point of marketing is to let a wide audience know that a new Star Wars movie is coming out and that it will be in theatres on December 18th, 2015. If you check your local listings, bet you can find a theatre near you. What marketing is NOT supposed to do is ruin every scene in the movie.
I have my tickets - tracking suggests EVERYONE has their tickets as the movie is on route to making upwards of 245 million dollars opening weekend. This would place the movie at the number one spot opening all time. Do these numbers warrant the need to show us everything?
In your lust to hit every quadrant and every demo and every non-fan – just like you did with Avengers Age of Ultron - Disney, you have created a roll out that is, arguably, ruining the theatre going experience. The initial mystery has been dumbed down.
I now know that a small piece of my excitement has been compromised based, in part, by the new international trailer, TV spot and 27 hi-res images newly released by EW. Taking those three roll outs and putting them together, I can argue that I’ve seen a potential major plot point from the movie. And it bums me out.
I beg of you Disney, stop. We get it. I would argue that the non-fans get it too. Everyone out there, by now, get’s it and has made up their mind – they are either going to see the movie or they are not going to see the movie.
There is a great disturbance in the Force and it’s the same disturbance witnessed with your Avengers franchise, Disney. Stop the marketing blitz. I promise you, the audience knows Star Wars is out there. Now, let’s give them what they REALLY want… A wonderful time in the theatre.
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