10) Front-Loading Teaser Merch
Classically speaking, Star Wars invented the multimedia assault, between toys, comics, TV shows and other tie-ins. The Force Awakens was a slight departure from the traditional marketing onslaught though. It premiered the concept of “Journey to the Force Awakens,” which deluged the market with toys, books, comics and merchandise before the film’s release. Many of these “Journey” materials teased the upcoming film and fleshed-out minor characters’ backstory.
Because there’s such a major gap between the Prequels and the Original Trilogy, the forthcoming “Journey to Rogue One” will include a major effort to bring fans and viewers up to speed.
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Starting next October, Lucasfilm will publish five novels (including the prequel novel Star Wars: Catalyst – A Rogue One Story), five short stories, a comic series and two video games in support of the film.
If this overarching pre-release push continues to be successful after the first Anthology movie – as it likely will be – expect the franchise to build their mythos in advance rather than flesh them out afterwards.
This also indicates Lucasfilm’s commitment to building a shared universe (more on that later).