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SPECULATION Rian's New Trilogy: Marketing and Related Considerations

Discussion in 'General Movie Discussion' started by JediMasterRobert, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. JediMasterRobert

    JediMasterRobert Rebel Official

    Jan 27, 2016
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    I think there's such great potential in the terra incognita Rian's trilogy seems to promise to explore.

    Since this is supposedly intended to reside entirely apart from the Skywalker Saga, it would be natural for fans to begin to wonder, as the Sequel Trilogy prepares for its 2019 conclusion, where, when, how, and why this New Trilogy (NT) will occur.

    The Prequel, Original, and Sequel trilogies, being Skywalker-centric, always had a promise of familiarity in all of their tales, particularly as they involved or referenced earlier major characters and events.

    Beyond the numbered Episodes, even Rebels and The Clone Wars animated series, along with the self-contained Rogue One, existed in this manner. We can easily include Solo here, with its primary protagonist accompanied by our beloved Chewbacca and Lando.

    Now, the NT, if it is so deliberately distinct in its existence as to go well out of the way to avoid referencing earlier (or future, if set in the past) Star Wars content, will present a rather unique and perhaps difficult challenge Star Wars fans have really yet to face:

    how to care for characters, worlds, and situations you know nothing about and cannot immediately identify with.​

    I think the quick, easy, and true answer is good storytelling.

    But, given how sensitive and reactionary some parts of the larger Star Wars fanbase has allowed itself to become over the years after, it might not be as easy as that.

    Even if the NT story is good (which I'm sure it will be) and even it's branded A Star Wars Story, such a story without any appreciable visual, verbal, or conceptual linkage with the existing saga could become too remote, if not potentially alienating an experience for some fans who take pleasure and/or refuge in such things as the Rebellion, the Jedi, the Force.

    Rogue One had no Jedi but it had Jedha, Kyber Crystals, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, and, of course, Vader.

    The most ideal thing that can happen is that, in fact, a good story is in place, and it gets acted, directed, and filmed amazingly, and then fans embrace it without much reservation.

    It could happen that the storytellers really work the magic they always could work, making fans care about, and be eager to meet (and later discuss), people, places, and events which exist outside the saga's wide circle (which spans a good chunk of the galaxy).

    But, assuming anything less than perfection and universal acclaim occurs, here are some considerations I really wish to present"

    I believe...​

    LucasFilm (LFL) and Disney should publicly handle this trilogy differently than they did with the saga and anthology films, all of which benefited from the aforementioned familiarities.

    LFL and Disney should be very forthcoming about the new characters, new worlds and situations, and perhaps new concepts: get the fans involved early. Like now. Saving the usual secrecy and misdirection for Episodes X-XII, if necessary.

    Help us care about this new (or old) NT era. Give us some very good reasons to believe this is not simply a random world-building maneuver which could have been easily pursued under any other franchise title -- or, the worst: a blatant means of milking the franchise.

    Help us to understand why, out of nowhere, this NT three-part story is something truly of Star Wars, something which could potentially enrich our understanding of the greater GFFA.

    Help us see this could be a really interesting story, one in which great thought and Star Wars continuity research has been invested. Or, that, if it is an entirely new tale -- wholly "made up" -- to show us when, how, where, and why this story must be told within the larger Star Wars timeline.​

    We know Star Wars is strong enough to suffer through one or two less-than-perfect anthology films.

    I think all the new films have been fine so far, never without their imperfections, of course, but they're relatable, comparable, complementary, poetic (and not only in the "rhyming" sense), part of a larger whole in the end. I'd even go on to say they are holistic.

    But, the NT, which will likely consume fandom for at least six years, if current production pacing is maintained, could begin to "break" Star Wars by flooding the franchise suddenly with material which could be construed as contradictory, inessential, controversial, rushed, or inane if any of that is improperly considered and developed.

    This is not to say newness cannot be brought into Star Wars. Quite the contrary: this is to say Star Wars is vast enough to allow for any number of well-told stories, but the key is caring.

    Everyone on all ends of this project should care: the writers, actors, director, and, most of all, the audience.

    With the OT we got the chance to care for Luke, Han, Leia. With the PT, we eventually got to know younger Anakin, Palpatine, and began to realize more of who Vader was under that forbidding armor. During the ST, we cared for Luke when he failed to materialize for most of TFA, and most of us were excited to hear of his more substantial return in TLJ.

    And many of us care greatly for the new characters: Rey, Ben, Finn, Poe, and others. We never met them before, but they were part of this larger storyline which connects all three existing trilogies.

    I believe breaking down the usual barriers of secrecy between fans and the NT can only help LFL/Disney make this new storyline a mutually enjoyable and successful venture.

    Counting on fans to accept anything Star Wars should never be considered a sound strategy.

    Our fans are among the most caring, insightful, creative, and down-to-Earth people who often take great delight in our ability to connect, dissect, and discuss all thing Star Wars.

    Now, I think if we could have, early on, the chance to begin to feel familiar with the NT, that could be helpful to all those involved in telling or experiencing the story.

    Stepping back for a moment for some perspective:

    Visually, in the beginning, George Lucas used the "used future" visuals, along with the Medieval storytelling tactic of in medias res, to drop us right into an existing storyline.

    The story had already been in progress by the time we first saw it!

    Within moments of the opening crawl of Episode IV: A New Hope (IV?!) we met massive ships, two unique droids, menacing troops, a towering antagonist of unspeakable power, and our capable and unconquerable Princess.

    That was amazing storytelling, and from those opening moments many of us first entered the Star Wars galaxy with a keen interest to learn more about these fascinating things and persons.

    I'm sure, under the right circumstances, such cinematic magic could happen again, but the OT also came at a time where such a film was unprecedented and unmatched, even today, in so many ways: music, newness, its blending of fantasy with sci-fi elements, its special effects, and more.

    Going forth, into the NT, we have all sorts of canon and EU knowledge / baggage, whether it's just from the movies or it's also from books/comics/etc.: many ready points of comparison which will immediately kick in if ever the core concept behind the NT is revealed.

    I strongly encourage LFL/Disney to get ahead of this NT, marketing-wise, and to, for once, in this new cycle, trust in fans and, above all, the story itself -- if it really is so strong as to demand nothing less than three films -- divulge more than the usual to let us in, so we can have more than a cursory and potentially misled glimpse into the story you have in mind. Misdirection should be kept minimal: we never met these characters/settings/situations before, so anything would be surprising.

    If what you have in the NT is truly that new (or, chronologically, antecedent), please feel free to share that! Introduce us to the relevant civilizations, the characters, major and minor, the overall reason(s) this story must be told. Don't save the details solely for your visual dictionaries. NT-related merchandise will move itself if people like the film content enough!

    Just give us a chance to be genuinely excited and invested in this new world before the beginning, not after the fact.

    "Unlearn what you have learned" with the Sequel Trilogy and trust in the Force and the power of your stories and your abilities to produce and convey them effectively.

    And just trust the fans. I think the more you welcome us into your process, the greater our fanbase might grow!

    May the Force -- and the Fandom -- be with you!
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