The moment is upon us.
The new movie opens tonight, and my inner child is all atwitter like R2D2 playing back a sketchy, 1970’s-era hologram.
I was skeptical when I first heard that the franchise had been handed off to Disney, as I think a lot of folks were. At first. But then I tossed a glance in my retrospectrometer and realized that George Lucas lost his mind somewhere between the release of Episode V and VI. Further, nobody seemed inclined, realizing that he had in fact lost his mind, to stop him from actively driving the entire bus off the cliff with the making of Episoded I, II, and III. So on balance, perhaps the franchise going to Disney isn’t such a bad thing.
For fargo’s sake, they can’t do worse than Jar-Jar.
But here’s the thing: the marketing campaign is so wide, so diverse, so all-encompassing, that even I, who love Star Wars more than is probably healthy for an otherwise normal guy to admit (even the prequels, I’m ashamed to say), am getting a little tired of it. Honestly, Star Wars might as well be woven into my DNA, but I’m getting sick of seeing it around. You can hardly step foot out of bed in the morning without hearing the thrumming whoosh of lightsabers, the tromping march of stormtroopers’ boots, the unforgettable leitmotif of the Skywalker theme.
Because it’s everywhere. Star Wars has altered its DNA, bred with some hapless advertisement progenitors, and bled over into absolutely everything. I thought I was watching an ad for the new film, but it turns out I was looking at a Target advert. I was watching football over the weekend and thought I’d stumbled onto a new promo for the film: nope, it was a cable TV ad spot. I went to watch a little bit of youtube and found all the controls had been replaced with glowing blue light beams and lightsaber sound effects. (Okay, the last one is actually pretty cool.)
And I just have to wonder, as one who is unversed in the ways of advertising: have we not reached the saturation point? Fans of the existing films are pretty much going to go see the films, regardless of how many promos they see or don’t see. And those fans will convince a fair few of their non-legion friends and family to come along with them to the films. And there are probably, maybe, a few people out there unfamiliar with the Star Wars universe, seeing the promos, thinking “hey, laser swords and spaceships, that looks pretty awesome,” who will come out and see the movies as well.
What I’m saying is, the future of the films is not in question. As long as there are nerds, there will be Star Wars, and the franchise will be ludicrously profitable. With this massive ad campaign, have they not by now reached a point of diminishing returns?
How much Star Wars, in short, is too much?
Actually, phrasing the question like that made me realize the answer.
There’s never too much Star Wars.