Burger King is spoiling Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker, the conclusion to the nine-movie Skywalker Saga, as part of a promotion advertising its flame-grilled Whopper hamburger. As part of its limited-time "Spoiler Whopper" campaign, Burger King Germany is offering customers a free Whopper if they "sacrifice the end of the greatest space saga" ahead of its December 18 premiere in the territory. For the first time, the Burger King app is using voice recognition to activate a promotional coupon that is unlocked only when the user reads aloud seemingly real Rise of Skywalker spoilers revealing major plot points and character fates.
A spoiler-filled commercial for the Spoiler Whopper sees unsuspecting customers entering a Burger King restaurant with Star Wars-themed menus. To order, customers are forced to read spoilers ruining the biggest twists and turns of The Rise of Skywalker. The commercial, which is prefaced with a spoiler warning, was uploaded to the official Burger King Deutschland YouTube channel.
On its app, users are met with a Star Wars-inspired scroll revealing the biggest spoilers from The Rise of Skywalker. Reading the spoilers aloud then activates the coupon for the free Whopper.
According to a listing on advertising service Little Black Book, where the commercial is available with English subtitles, the spot is the joint creation of creative agency Grabarz & Partner, the Vizeum Deutschland GmbH media agency and production company Rabbicorn Films GmbH for Burger King Germany.
A description for the ad says Burger King Germany is "joining in with the new installment in the series" — indicating Burger King has partnered with Lucasfilm and parent company Disney — but Matt Martin, a creative executive with the Lucasfilm Story Group, says the the promotion is a Burger King "marketing stunt" not associated with the company.
It’s not an official thing. It’s a BK marketing stunt.— Matt Martin (@missingwords) December 12, 2019
"It's not an official thing," Martin tweeted. "It's a BK marketing stunt."
In a subsequent tweet, Martin wrote, "It's a stunt for the restaurant chain, not the film. It's not associated with the film. So it seems to have been effective. It has a lot of people talking about Burger King."
"I don't know the legal system in Germany (I barely understand it here) but I would expect that it's such a limited time thing that by the time any action could be taken it'd already be past," Martin wrote in another tweet. "Or it's a 'parody' or something."
The spoilers revealed in the promotion — including the fates of major characters and other closely kept secrets — appear to have been gathered from a Star Wars spoiler community on Reddit, originally leaked by member u/JediPaxis.
While returning The Force Awakens writer-director J.J. Abrams was less guarded on Rise of Skywalker, Abrams likely did not foresee Skywalker's biggest surprises ruined in exchange for a free sandwich. Abrams previously explained his transparency on Rise of Skywalker — including revealing the return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) in marketing materials — was not "strategic," telling Uproxx:
"But I do feel about this movie, because it is the end of something everyone knows — I don't want to be coy. I feel very confident about what the movie is," Abrams said. "And I feel like we've found a way to do something that doesn't need — and I don't feel the need — to do smoke and mirrors at all on this."
Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Joonas Suotamo, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.