‘Star Wars’ Fans Are Bigger Spenders, Research Shows

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Star Wars’ Mania a Jolly Sign for Toy Makers.

The 23-year-old star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was starting to question a lot of things about what life would hold now that he was part of what’s expected to be one of the biggest films of all time. Perhaps in the days before the internet – when a paper was an elegant news source for a more civilised information age – but not in 2015, a time of spoilers, non-spoilers that actually come with spoilers, teaser trailers and teasers for teaser trailers.Over the years, though, Harrison Ford has never been entirely at ease with his place in the “Star Wars” universe and the intense fan adoration that goes with it.

With a long hiatus now over, the return of “Star Wars” to the big screen is generating the kind of excitement that can light a fire under the lucrative business of licensed film merchandise. Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Sean McGowan estimated that “Star Wars” toys have the potential to generate $2 billion in sales from September through December. Fans worldwide flicked on their lightsabers in anticipation of the day when they could experience it, after they learned that wunderkind director J.J.

And if you think it’s bad now, wait until the film is actually released, when millions of voices will cry out in terror and be suddenly silenced by an unending pile of tweet spoilers. Even then, given the success that surrounded the release of the first movie, this is a level of excitement and, it’s fair to say, merchandising genius, that I have not seen before. Hasbro said its Black Series toys were collectively the best-selling item, and Hasbro’s “Star Wars” sales overall through Sept. 26 outpaced total retail growth in “Star Wars” merchandise in the U.S. and U.K.

And if I appear to be having too good a time from time to time, it’s because I don’t know how to stay up late and because the [late-night talk show] hosts are really good at what they do. For a long time, it seemed like you felt detached from “Star Wars” and all the insanity around it and fought on some level against how associated you were with Han Solo. Callow Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) trains to become a Jedi knight and joins his friends Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) to battle the evil Empire and Darth Vader (David Prowse). During an appearance on FOX Business Network’s “Mornings With Maria” before Black Friday, Brandon was asked if “Star Wars” will be a key driver of sales during the critical holiday shopping season. “You bet,” he replied.

The franchise continued in 1999 with a prequel trilogy revealing how a superbly gifted young man, Anakin Skywalker, became Vader, half-machine and nearly 100 percent evil. But if we spend all our time talking about me in the past, we’ll never get to talk about this movie. [pauses] I was never comfortable with talking about it.

He didn’t want to burden his fellow veteran cast mates like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill with questions about their experiences and how they handled their light speed ascendancy to otherworldly stardom. His reputation as a filmmaker who respects the science fiction genre, and his street cred as fan himself, have persuaded many fans to set aside any lingering resentment over the disappointing, Jar Jar-infested prequel trilogy, and trust him. It was the start of a true friendship that’s since resulted in more hours-long chats, hang-outs, and even a chicken and waffles date. “Good lord we get deep,” Boyega said of their conversations. “For the most part it’s definitely private, but in general, his thing has always been inner peace and how to deal with this on a mental level. We’ll meet desert scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), former stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and X-wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac.) There’s hope that we’ll see Rey, Finn and Poe in future installments. That Star Wars saga marathon rewatch seemed a good idea a few weeks ago, and Episodes IV, V and VI were still a blast as always, but maybe you shouldn’t have delved back into The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

But this was very ambitious — correctly ambitious in every sense. [Director] J.J. [Abrams] is a hard-working, highly skilled filmmaker. [Co-writer] Larry Kasdan is back to give us access to the tablets that came down off the mountain, as it were. Taking care of your mental health is something that he talks to me about.” Whether it’s Downey’s influence or not, Boyega has been weathering the attention with expert grace — even the ugly stuff. That includes 2017’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” written and directed by Rian Johnson (“Looper”) and 2019’s “Star Wars: Episode IX,” directed by Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”). By announcing these tentpole pictures early, Disney can arrange the rest of its movie slate around them and intimidate competitors who might be planning their own space sagas.

Given everything you, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher went through after the original “Star Wars,” it must be interesting for the three of you to watch what that young cast is going through now. Assigning the movies to different directors allows story development and preproduction to start up years in advance; Abrams would probably need some decompression time before prepping the next movie. I’m both very happy for them and I hope that they’ll be as happy for themselves once they get it all figured out. [laughs] Because it takes a while.

He needs to recapture the franchise’s magic and purity by presenting an exciting story and new characters we care about, Thompson said. “That’s not science, that’s show business.” Craig Foreman of Kent, a member of the Ohio Star Wars Collectors Club, thinks audiences need to feel an emotional attachment to the new characters. Yeah, I mean, you dress up in those clothes and you look over your shoulder and there’s a guy in a dog suit and you kind of remember what the drill is. But there were also some interesting new aspects to the character given the passage of time, and they figured out some very interesting things for us to do. If this happens, you plan to stroll up to a couple in the centre middle of the theatre and persuasively tell them: ‘These are not the seats you’re looking for…’ Watching them lose their minds, seeing people weeping when you say “Chewie, we’re home” in the trailer — has it hit you in a different way what “Star Wars” means to people?

And I have to put that down to the fact that these films have been passed down through families to succeeding generations — and there have been a couple. And so there’s this broad awareness, this cultural — and I mean this to be in quotations — “significance.” There’s this community experience that is the reference for this enthusiasm.

No, I just don’t trust old airplanes that much anymore. [laughs] Other than that, in the words of my philosopher friend Jimmy Buffett, [expletive] happens. No, if he did ever lose his cool, it was when he was trying to pull a hydraulic door off my sorry ass when I was locked to the floor. [laughs] He’s an extraordinary character: his energy, the depth of his focus. Each circumstance is different according to the people involved, the temperature of the world you’re releasing the film into, your own affinity for the material, where you are in the breadth of your capacity to be useful.

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