Last week, Walt Disney Studios released the first teaser trailer for the much anticipated film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise. As the fifth highest-grossing movie franchise in history, the series is synonymous with entertainment for decades. With these films, writer and director George Lucas, effectively changed the way the movie industry publicized films.
You can watch the teaser here.
Marvel may have blockbuster films and widespread products, but Star Wars did it first. Series like The Hunger Games may be hyping up a film a year in advance, but Star Wars beat them to it by about 40 years. The series made its silver screen debut in 1977 and has been dominating pop culture ever since. After its release, the films became cultural phenomenon spawning collectibles, video games and even pajamas. The franchise brought a whole new element to the film industry- merchandising on a massive scale.
Before its release, Lucas had the idea to begin building up anticipation for the film months in advance. That promotional tactic of using teaser trailers with long lead time seemed ridiculous at the time, but has now become the new model for publicizing films.
Rumors of the latest Star Wars installation began back in 2013 when a photo of Lucas and Hollywood sci-fi director J.J. Abrams was “leaked” before the director announcement was made. Since then, the studio was silent, allowing the public to generate their own speculation. Like Lucas’ long-lead teaser trailer tactic, studio generated hype has been dominating in film publicity.
Lucas must have had the right idea. Since the teaser trailer was released last week, Star Wars has been a hot topic on social media, trending on Twitter for days. The film doesn't hit theaters until December 2015 but the trailer certainly leaves plenty for fans to discuss in the meantime, continuing to build hype. Hopefully, the film can deliver.