While Disney will likely play things relatively close to the chest with Lucasfilm's upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill and writer/director Rian Johnson are suggesting Star Wars fans avoid as much of the marketing onslaught as possible.
“More stuff is coming, that’s the nature of the beast,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “But I fully endorse avoiding everything you can from now till December!”
“I fully endorse this @rianjohnson statement,” wrote Hamill. “AVOID EVERYTHING YOU CAN FROM NOW TILL DECEMBER!!!!!”
The tweets come in response to a fan who wrote to Johnson, saying, “I think we’ve officially been told too much.”
Disney’s marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was highly secretive and selective since the arrival of the first teaser trailer in 2014, with the one minute, thirty-eight second teaser showing the sands of Jakku, an exasperated, unmasked Stormtrooper (John Boyega), a rolling ball droid (BB-8), Stormtroopers in a ship, a girl on a speeder (Daisy Ridley), an X-Wing pilot (Oscar Isaac) leading a fleet of X-Wings, a mysterious, hooded figure (Adam Driver) walking through a frozen forest and igniting a red, unstable lightsaber, and a disembodied voice (Andy Serkis) asking, “Have you felt it? The dark side… and the light,” prefacing the heroic and rousing return of the Millennium Falcon in action, accompanied by the iconic bars of John Williams’ Star Wars theme.
Details — and spoilers, in particular — were kept tightly under wraps, with the marketing up to episode VII’s release a concentrated, expensive, and unrelenting effort. We knew little: Luke, Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han (Harrison Ford) would be returning, as would longtime sidekicks Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker). Only the briefest glimpse at Luke was seen in a later trailer, with the big question being, “Where’s Luke?” (Luke’s actual involvement, look, and location would be a highly guarded secret.)
We knew we had a crop of fresh new characters: there was Rey, Finn, and Poe, with adorable newcomer droid (and instant favorite) BB-8. Rey was seemingly little more than a desert scavenger on a junkyard planet, while marketing made it seem as though Finn — seen wielding the blue lightsaber that once belonged to Anakin Skywalker and then Luke Skywalker — would become a Jedi. And, of course, there was the secrecy surrounding the film’s pair of major villains: the masked, Darth Vader-lite Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his Dark side master, Snoke (Andy Serkis), whose appearance was shrouded in hush-hush.
So far, Disney and Lucasfilm have released a teaser trailer for The Last Jedi, premiered at Star Wars Celebration in April, accompanied by a teaser poster. A behind the scenes tease followed, released during San Diego Comic Con in July. With the rest, Disney has promoted the film on websites, magazines, and photo sets — and merchandise, of course, with more to arrive as we grow ever nearer to December.
While another, longer trailer is sure to release (likely in October), it’s asking a lot of Star Wars fans to avoid consuming every piece of footage we possibly can before we’re seated comfortably in the theater, waiting for the opening scrawl to come to life. How much, or how little, of the upcoming promotional onslaught you choose to view is up to you.
May the Force be with you.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second film in the new Star Wars sequel trilogy that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. The film will deal with Luke training Rey to become a, and possibly the last, Jedi. Meanwhile, the Resistance, including Poe Dameron and First Order defector Finn, continues to fight against the First Order, led by General Hux, while Supreme Leader Snoke and his Dark Side follower Kylo Ren continue their mysterious plot. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15th, 2017.