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It finally happened, Star Wars fans. After years of anticipation, speculation, and hype, we finally know what to call Episode VIII. Following a badass title like The Force Awakens was no easy feat, but I have to admit I am completely on board with The Last Jedi. It's short, sweet, and it tells rabid Star Wars enthusiasts everything that they need to know about the upcoming sequel, while still keeping its best secrets at an arm's distance.
The sheer amount of mania that has ensued in the days following the announcement of The Last Jedi has made one thing clear: the film does not need to show any footage before hitting theaters in December. It's an outlandish idea, but it's also one that has a ton of potential for success, and actors like Adam Driver have even championed it. Check out our list of reasons why The Last Jedi shouldn't show any footage to audiences before December 15, and let us know what you think in the comments section below. We have plenty of reasons to get through, but let's kick this off with one of the most obvious of the bunch.
It Will Help Keep Spoilers To An Absolute Minimum
Every time a major blockbuster movie releases a new trailer, it flirts with disaster. The studio obviously wants to entice people and convince them that the film looks good, but they also need to be careful as to what footage they should show. Sometimes this works well, but other times the people who cut the trailers show far too much of the wrong footage. The Last Jedi has thus far done an impeccable job of keeping us entirely in the dark regarding the nature of its plot, and we really think it should stay that way. Fans haven't been genuinely shocked by a major franchise plot twist since The Empire Strikes Back, and The Last Jedi has a unique opportunity to recapture the spirit of the pre-Internet era. If the film releases no footage, its biggest spoilers will remain completely intact, and I think that's something fans can look forward to.
Fans Already Know The Story Leading Into The Film
One of the biggest reasons why The Last Jedi doesn't need to release any footage is the simple fact that fans pretty much know exactly what to expect going into this movie. We don't need a "last time on Star Wars" primer to help us understand the plot; the image of Rey holding Luke's classic blue lightsaber has become thoroughly ingrained in our collective memory. The only things a trailer for The Last Jedi could conceivably do is rehash old information that we are already familiar with, while simultaneously showing something new and running the risk of spoiling the entire affair. Although it means having to wait until the movie hits theaters, I think the wait is completely worth it if it means that we will cut down on the amount of redundant information that gets thrown into each and every trailer.
The Opening Crawl Will Get Newcomers Up To Speed
For the select few out there who somehow don't already have a thorough understanding of the story so far in the Star Wars galaxy, The Last Jedi will provide a handy opening crawl to get them up to speed. That's one of the best (and most advantageous) aspects of the whole Star Wars lore; each film recognizes its place in a grand overarching narrative while simultaneously taking steps to assure that newcomers can generally catch on to the story. This isn't necessarily a tactic that every blockbuster can fall back on -- non-Star Wars movies obviously don't feature an opening crawl, and there's no way to know if the spin-off movies will ever use one -- but it will most certainly serve the central Star Wars saga quite well. The series has a built-in narrative device specifically designed to get new fans on board immediately; it makes perfect sense to take advantage of that.
There's Already Built-In Hype
I think it already goes without saying that The Last Jedi has easily become one of (if not the) most highly anticipated movies of the coming year. The Star Wars franchise is currently riding high off of the successes of The Force Awakens and Rogue One, and the franchise as a whole has arguably never been in a stronger position. With that in mind, it almost seems foolish to think that The Last Jedi somehow needs to convince people to get onboard. Disney and Lucasfilm are obviously going to market the hell out of this movie to maximize exposure, but it's safe to say that The Last Jedi already has a ton of momentum behind it. Instead of running the risk of spoiling the movie by sending out too much footage before the release date, the folks behind the latest Star Wars movie should put a bit more faith in the passion of the fans. It will pay off in the long run.
No Footage Doesn't Mean No Trailers
Remember when the first teaser for The Force Awakens dropped and fans freaked out about the shot of Kylo Ren igniting his crossguard lightsaber in the middle of the snow-covered forest? Now, do you also remember how that shot wasn't actually in the movie? Granted, the movie did feature a version of that shot, but the one used in the teaser was never actually seen in the film; The Last Jedi can learn from that. Instead of showing audiences actual footage taken from the film, the marketing team behind the upcoming Star Wars epic can just put alternate or deleted scenes from the final cut of the movie into promos to get us pumped. By doing this, the film can establish a visual vocabulary so we have a basic understanding of what to expect in the story, without resorting to showing audiences too much of the final product.
It Could Set A Fantastic Precedent For Other Blockbusters
I'm just going to come right out and say it; modern movie trailers have developed a seriously nasty habit of giving away key plot points for their respective films. From intimate and personal stories like Castaway to more bombastic and grandiose blockbusters like Terminator: Genisys, most trailers have become infamous for spoiling the biggest and best secrets that should've been preserved until the release dates of these movies. The most egregious offender in recent memory has to be Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which completely spoiled the presence of Doomsday months before the film hit theaters. If The Last Jedi opts to take the bold step of not releasing any notable footage to audiences and rely solely on posters and vague teasers (and if it is successful in doing so) it could send a fantastic message to other blockbusters. We don't need an avalanche of footage to get even more excited about a movie that we're already looking forward to.