Ngebray.com, Let the pass die, says the trailer. Kill it, yet here we are 40 years later and another Star Wars movie, Episode 8 The Last Jedi. Now most people are totally stoked for Star Wars, but a small band of rebels who loved the early films just can’t take it anymore. For them, the relentless releases, which are now coming every year, and the marketing which goes with them, are a fresh hell.
Star Wars is a franchise that effectively markets itself, thanks to its enormous fan base, but that doesn’t stop Disney from spending millions of dollars to give it that extra push. Then there’s the big bucks spent marketing the merchandise, with Disney launching its new toy product months ahead of a new film’s debut on what’s called Force Rider.
So far there’ve been eight main episodes in the Star Wars saga. The original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and the sequel trilogy, which is the one that’s currently playing out. Then there’s the TV shows and other spin-offs, and in 2016 came the first anthology film, dubbed the Star Wars Story.
Star Wars toys target a wide demographic, or as Hasbro’s design director puts it, “As people get older, they move away from play state and go more to the display state”. A reference presumably to the collectors who hoard Star Wars memorabilia, many not even opening the packaging. Then there’s the companies selling Star Wars themed products such as video game company Electronic Arts, not to mention cross-branding opportunities among Disney’s own units, such as ESPN.
Review so far suggest The Last Jedi is one of the best films in the saga. Bad news for haters who are facing a tough few years ahead with a release of a second so-called Star Wars Story next year and a final sequel trilogy film in 2019. On top of that, director Rian Johnson has been lined up for an entirely new trilogy.
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