Disney will not purchase air time for Star Wars: Episode IX during Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII, THR has learned.
The studio debuted the first footage from Solo: A Star Wars Story during last year’s big game, which emerged as the second most buzzed about trailer — second only to Disney’s own Avengers: Infinity War.
As the conclusion of the long-running Skywalker saga that began with George Lucas’ original blockbuster in 1977, Episode IX can create its own buzz by revealing a title or first footage outside of the Super Bowl, forgoing the need for a pricey spot — especially for a December release.
According to THR, Disney would not confirm reports the studio had purchased an “undisclosed” number of ad spots, which could bring new looks at the studio’s prolific 2019 slate, including Captain Marvel (March 8), Dumbo (March 29), Aladdin (May 24), Avengers: Endgame (April 26), Toy Story 4 (June 21) and The Lion King (July 19).
Disney could hold off the first Episode IX teaser to debut with either of its March releases. Alternatively, the studio could make a major reveal during April’s Star Wars Celebration Chicago.
It was at Celebration in April 2017 where Lucasfilm unveiled the first official teaser for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
J.J. Abrams, who revived the franchise with 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, returns as writer-director.
“I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realize something that we hadn’t quite achieved – and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story,” Abrams said last year of his decision to return and conclude the story he first put into motion.
“The opportunity to sort of take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we begun? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up.”
Abrams was forced to navigate the death of General Leia Organa actress Carrie Fisher, who will appear in IX by way of unused Force Awakens footage. Fisher’s Leia is mother to central villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and was long expected to play a key role in the finale.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us,” Abrams said in a statement published in July.0comments
“We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams are set to return in Episode IX alongside stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. The film opens December 20.