It doesn't matter if it's the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DCEU, or the Star Wars universe. Whenever the big-budget blockbuster hype machine starts moving, fans who keep up with the films run the risk of significant spoilers. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi kicking its marketing campaign into high gear, that risk is now more prominent than ever. However, according to director Rian Johnson, the folks behind the franchise from the galaxy far, far away thought ahead and made a comprehensive list of what they could and could not reveal before the movie debuts. Johnson explained:
A year ago, maybe even more than that my producer Ram [Bergman] and I sat down with the folks at Lucasfilm and said, 'OK, this is what we're going to reveal here and there, and this stuff we're never going to reveal until the movie comes out.' We came up with a 'no-fly list' of, under no circumstances is this shown or that shown.
So while there are certain aspects of the film's story that Rian Johnson and higher-ups at Lucasfilm are willing to give away at specific points during the marketing campaign, the company also has stringent rules about what can't see the light of day before the movie debuts. This list is ironed out well in advance of the movie's release, and based on Rian Johnson's comments to Yahoo Movies, it seems that everyone involved takes it pretty damn seriously. Think the recent trailer gave away Rey's turn to the Dark Side or Kylo Ren's potential murder of General Leia? Guess again; the people in charge know precisely what they wanted to show us.
It's hard to deny that it's a smart call for the folks at Lucasfilm, as the last few year have felt defined by blockbusters ruined before they even debuted on the big screen. From Terminator: Genisys spoiling John Connor's fate in the trailers to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice blatantly giving away Doomsday's presence in the film, Hollywood sometimes has a lousy track record of keeping grand narrative left turns hidden until the right moment. In a particular sense, it almost feels like there can be a disconnect between what the studio wants to use as a significant plot twist, and what the person cutting the trailer finds essential. That said, it doesn't look like Star Wars has had that problem so far.
As fans of the Star Wars franchise, we never even realized how much forethought went into the decision to show (or not show) specific moments in the trailers. Even Rian Johson admitted his shock at the process, saying:
It is a fascinating process. It's something that for me, just having been a fan my whole life, suddenly being behind the curtain and seeing how it works and seeing how deliberate it is, has been really fascinating.
For a closer look at all of this carefully curated Star Wars goodness, check out the most recent trailer for The Last Jedi below!
Whether or not The Last Jedi will be able to stick to its "no-fly list" for spoilers remains to be seen, but with only two months to go until the film finally debuts, I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with how many secrets remain intact. The Last Jedi will debut in theaters on December 15; tickets for the eighth episode in the Star Wars saga are currently available, so make sure to get yours now!