This week Entertainment Weekly ran a cover story on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which included a treasure trove of new images, but very few major plot details. Fans hoping for more info—like finally finding out who the hell Benicio Del Toro is playing—clearly haven’t been paying attention. This is exactly how Star Wars rolls. We didn’t know what The Force Awakens was really about until we actually saw the damn thing. The marketing strategy for The Last Jedi has been equally stingy—at least from a fan’s perspective.
Rian Johnson—who wrote and directed what’s likely to be the biggest film of the year, if not the decade—thinks we’ve already seen too much. When one fan said as much over Twitter, Johnson was quick to agree, and suggested a self-imposed moratorium on all things Star Wars until the film’s December release.
More stuff is coming, that’s the nature of the beast. But I fully endorse avoiding everything you can from now till December! https://t.co/G9D8qtq5w4— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) August 10, 2017
Mark Hamill agreed.
This leaves fans in something of a predicament. We’ve been conditioned to devour every morsel of information ahead of a film’s release, and now we’re just supposed to quit cold turkey? That’s next to impossible, especially for something like Star Wars, which inspires the most fan hysteria of any franchise, ever. So we have a suggestion. Disney and Lucasfilm should listen to their director and their star and stop promoting The Last Jedi altogether
Of course that’s never happen. A film’s marketing campaign is just as crucial to determining overall box office success as the film itself. But does that rule apply to something that’s as embedded into our cultural fabric as Star Wars is? Think about it, If you never see another poster, or trailer, or even a promotional still for The Last Jedi, will that prevent you from seeing it? No. The Force Awakens is the third highest grossing film of all time. Nearly everyone who paid to see that movie will pay to see this one as well.
Disney has a surefire box office juggernaut on its hands and knows it. So what’s the point of marketing a film like that? When the inevitable next trailer hits we’re going to watch it, and then watch it again, and again and again. At this point, marketing this movie is just fan service—tiny appetizers intended to keep as satiated until the main course. But maybe we should listen to Johnson and just starve ourselves until the movie comes out. After all, the hungrier you are, the more enjoyable the meal.