Something we’ve been keeping an eye on as of late are the differences in methodology that Lucasfilm takes when it comes to promoting its new Star Wars films. There were some notable differences between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But that was to be expected, since one is part of the main episodic saga and one is a standalone spinoff. But what about comparisons between The Force Awakens and its direct follow-up Star Wars: Episode VIII?
We’re just about a year out from Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII. So where doe it stand, in terms of what we knew about The Force Awakens at this point? For starters, we knew the film would be called The Force Awakens! The official subtitle for the J.J. Abrams-directed film was revealed on November 6, 2014- Over a year before the arrival of The Force Awakens in theaters (December 18, 2015). As of this writing, it’s November 28 and we still don’t have an official subtitle for Episode VIII.
And what about a trailer?
The first teaser trailer for The Force Awakens actually arrived exactly two years ago today- also north of a year before the film’s premiere. When can we expect to finally lay eyes on a trailer for Episode VIII?
Some might assume that a teaser for the film, which wrapped quite a while ago, could be attached to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That would make sense, right? You want to excite and titillate your target audience, and you’re going to have a huge captive audience of Star Wars fans when Rogue One arrives on December 16. Well, turns out there’s a reason we haven’t heard any kind of official confirmation of a Star Wars: Episode VIII trailer debuting alongside Rogue One:
Because it isn’t.
According to the International Business Times, which believes the claims of a YouTube user, Lucasfilm isn’t planning on rolling out the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII until Q1 of 2017. If they’re going to link it to another blockbuster from its parent studio (Disney), which tends to be the common practice, then that could very well mean that we’ll see an Episode VIII trailer will hit the net when Beauty And The Beast comes out on March 17.
The live-action remake of the beloved animated classic is the only Disney release slated to come out in quarter one. So if the IBT report (and, by extension, the YouTuber they cited) is to be trusted, then that’s the most likely timeframe for a trailer.
None of this has been confirmed, so take it all with a grain of salt. But there’s definite reason to buy into the logic of it. There’s very little reason to think that a teaser will be attached to Rogue One, as we likely would’ve heard about that by now. And we’ve also had those reports of Spider-Man: Homecoming debuting a trailer with Rogue One, so that film would likely get the biggest promotional spotlight that Disney wants to shine. Meanwhile, you can’t think Lucasfilm would wait until Q2. So Q1 makes the most sense.
Still, this is all just a rumor for now.
Do you think it means anything, good or bad, that The Force Awakens and Episode VIII are on seemingly different promotional schedules up to this point? Discuss.