Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has gotten a significant marketing boost in the last three weeks leading up to its December 16 release. While it's nothing new for a studio to make a big advertising and promotional push in the last weeks leading up to a major blockbuster film release, Rogue One's final marketing run has connected with viewers in a big way.
Even a cursory glance at Rogue One's final trailer and TV spot stats on YouTube will tell you that interest and hype for film is mounting - and we here at Comicbook.com have seen it firsthand in our content traffic. To anyone measuring, it's no surprise that Rogue One is poised to have a huge opening weekend box office; the question we're asking, is: Is the aftermath of the 2016 Election helping this Star Wars standalone film resonate with people more than it otherwise would have?
A Time of Rebellion
If you go back and watch the original Rogue One teaser trailer and/or the first leaked concept art for the film, and it's clear that director Gareth Edwards was making a darker film about war and its cost. However, as Rogue One went through the pipeline of blockbuster filmmaking, getting revised, reshot and reshaped, what's come out the other end of the assembly line is a film that seems lighter in tone.
Indeed, the latest Rogue One trailers and TV spots have begun to converge on the theme of keeping hope alive in dark times through the spirit of rebellion. Jyn Erso's (Felicity Jones) impassioned speeches about what it is to rebel, or Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) talking about how the Force is behind the rebels, are audio focal points that are repeated over and over again, and seem to be resonating more and more, with commenters going so far as to report goose bumps or heart swell from hearing those monologues.
...And it's not hard to understand why.
The result of the 2016 election in America has created a climate that's perfect for a film like Rogue One. As we write this, there is a flood of protests all over the nation, with groups pronouncing their objection and/or resistance to everything from the Dakota pipeline to any number of issues surrounding president elect Donald Trump.
A $park of Hope
In that climate, a story like Rogue One - which chronicles the Rebellion's fateful mission to steal the plans for the Death Star - fits perfectly. With such a significant portion of the US (and so many other countries across the world right now) feeling like they are living in (or are about to live in) the dark shadow of authoritative rule, the inspiration to resist or battle against that oppression has become a real commodity – and it’s a commodity that Rogue One is unabashedly offering viewers.
Sometimes the right story arrives at a time when it’s not just wanted, but needed, and for thousands of people searching for inspiration for their own spirit of resistance, Rogue One seems (to us) to be that timely tale.
Do you think the 2016 US election and Trump presidency has helped boost Rogue One's visibility and resonance? Or is the hype just a natural byproduct of a big Star Wars movie release? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ComicBookNOW or @KofiOutlaw!
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Rouge One: A Star Wars Story will be in theaters on December 16, 2016. Star Wars: Episode VIII will be in theaters on December 15, 2017. The Han Solo Standalone Film will be released on May 25, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX will be in theaters on May 23, 2019.