‘Rise of Skywalker’ trailer should debut soon. Why Disney has waited so long to release it

Daisy Ridley reprises her role as Rey in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

Disney

With just under two months until the final installment of the Skywalker Saga set to hit theaters, there’s one thing Star Wars fans are still waiting for — an official trailer.

After teaser videos at Star Wars Celebration in April and the D23 Expo in August, fans of the series are eagerly awaiting the last big promotional push from Disney-owned Lucasfilm.

Since launching the latest trilogy of Star Wars films, Disney has deviated from the traditional timeline for releasing trailers to the public.

While most blockbuster films will reveal an official, full-length trailer between five and six months before its opening weekend — “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aquaman,” “Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Joker,” and “It Chapter Two” all followed this pattern — the last two Star Wars films didn’t debut an official trailer until two months before their release dates.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” appears to be following that trend.

“The Star Wars brand is so beloved, and this movie is so greatly anticipated, that when they take a different path than traditional movie trailers it gets attention,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, said. “They don’t have to go by the conventional rules of trailer releasing.”

For each of the three trilogy movies, “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” and “Rise of Skywalker,” Lucasfilm released a teaser trailer during its biannual Star Wars Celebration event in April.

These teasers were short, showing only truncated clips that don’t give away much about the plot, and have been used to stir up anticipation or intrigue about a film. Then, for “Force Awakens” and “Last Jedi,” Lucasfilm remained close lipped about the films, only allowing a few character photos to enter the public eye, until six months later.

For both films, an official trailer was released during a Monday Night Football game in October. These trailers were a little over two minutes in length and gave more information about what each film was about and gave more details about the cast and plot.

Fans expect Lucasfilm will do the same with “Rise of Skywalker.” While many had predicted that a trailer was going to be released at halftime on Monday, Oct. 14, Disney had made no announcement about doing so. No trailer was shown that night.

In the first two weeks of October, there were more than 100,000 mentions about the movie trailer on Twitter, according to Sprout Social, a social media management and analytics platform.

“Trailers are there to bring visibility and generate excitement to bring us to the movies,” Peter Csathy, founder and chairman of Creatv Media, said. “Star Wars doesn’t need that. All you need to know is that there is a new Star Wars [film] coming out.”

Disney was not immediately available to comment about its marketing strategy.

Lucasfilm has been very protective of the plot of previous Star Wars films, even going so far as to place clips in trailers to set up expectations for story lines that don’t actually pan out in the film.

In “The Force Awakens” trailer it appeared that Finn, played by John Boyega, would be a new Jedi character, as he could be seen wielding a blue lightsaber. However, it was Rey, who possessed the Force.

Similarly, in trailers for “The Last Jedi,” there was a clip between Rey and Luke Skywalker that made it seem like Rey was swinging her lightsaber down on Luke. The clip was actually reversed just for the trailer. In the movie, she is actually pulling the lightsaber up, not down.

Still of “Dark Rey” from the newest “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” promotional footage from Disney.

Disney

So, of course, fans have been speculating that the short glimpse of Rey in a dark hood unfolding a red lightsaber, dubbed Dark Rey, that debuted at D23 is a similar red herring.

“It comes down to them wanting to protect as much of the plot as possible,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, said. “But they also know they don’t have to try that hard to sell it.”

As the final film in a nine-movie saga, “Rise of Skywalker” is expected to perform well at the box office. “The Force Awakens” hauled in $2.06 billion worldwide sales and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” garnered $1.33 billion globally. Analysts currently project that “Rise of Skywalker” ticket sales will fall somewhere in between.

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