I was really surprised to find that Rogue One: A Star Wars Stor wasn't a part of the Super Bowl trailer line up at the weekend, and that makes me very concerned about the marketing of this film...
If you remember we got a trailer for The Force Awakens over a year before the movie was to hit theatres. The Force Awakens was potentially the most eagerly anticipated movie of all time, and we get a teaser trailer over a year out...
So why didn't we get a Rogue One: A Star Wars Stor trailer yet? At Star Wars Celebration last year a short tone poem was revealed which showed us what Gareth Edwards movie is going to feel like. The short clip showed an aerial shot of a wooded landscape and as we followed a path through the woods we see a TIE fighter fly over head toward a horizon which, as the camera shifts position slightly reveals a massive Death Star space station in orbit. The Death Star looks like a huge moon, paying homage to Obi-Wan Kenobi's line in Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope, "That's no moon."
Speaking of Obi-Wan; we get a sample of Alec Guinness talking throughout the trailer. His dialogue is the, "The Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old republic. Before the dark time. Before the Empire." line from Star Wars 1977. The line is slightly edited for pacing reasons but it certainly sets the scene for the movie, which really helps place this film within the pantheon. The only thing is; no one has seen the bloody thing.
Now look, I know, and you know what we can expect from this years Star Wars movie, but regular movie going audiences don't know. These are the people that have just helped push The Force Awakens over $2b dollars at the international box office. They are the people who are thinking now, "The Force Awakens was amazing, I can't wait to see the next one." Which I'm sure is soon followed by, "What? There's another Star Wars film this Christmas?"
See where I'm going with this?
That audience is going to expect Episode VIII unless they are educated pretty quickly that the movie they will be getting this December is not the sequel to The Force Awakens, but a prequel to Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope. Perhaps the "P" word is the issue here. The prequels left a nasty taste in audience's collected mouths, and maybe that's left Lucasfilm and Disney a little gun shy? I'm not sure I believe that. Star Wars is pretty much at a point where it can print money, so releasing a teaser, even just that Celebration teaser from last year, would be extremely valuable in prepping the audience for what's coming. That's why I'm surprised we didn't see anything at the Super Bowl this weekend.
The Super Bowl draws such a huge, diverse audience, that quite simple contains precisly the demographic Star Wars is aiming for. That much is clear from the trailers that do appear, Captain America Civil War, Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice and Jungle Book to name but a few. People would have gotten a look at the new movie, seen what it sits along side of, which could only reinforce Rogue One: A Star Wars Stor as a tent pole feature, and get those awkward questions out of the way now, ten months ahead of the film's release! It simply doesn't make any sense to me to hold this back any longer. I'm hoping we see something very, very soon.
Thank you for reading,