Disappointment+ Day

On 1st November, fandom got to see the first look at the upcoming series ‘The Book of Boba Fett’, as the excitement started to settle, a realisation occurred, Disney+ Day is just under two weeks away…

We were already promised ‘Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett’, a documentary all about the most famous Bounty Hunter in the Galaxy, but we were also promised ‘Sneak Peeks’ at the upcoming Star Wars, Disney, Marvel, Pixar and the rest of the Disney+ repertoire.

And if they were dropping that trailer a week before the festivities then just imagine what Disney+ would be throwing our way…

The festivities began at 6 AM Pacific Time, or 2 PM in the UK. Unfortunately that meant I would be at work, unable to keep up with things as they happened, but I would only be missing two hours and what was the likelihood that I’d miss out on all that Star Wars content that would inevitably be dropping…

So at just after 4 PM I finished work and quickly logged onto Twitter, anticipating something… and what we got was less than two minutes of Ewan McGregor and Deborah Chow saying a handful of sentences about the fans wanting Obi-Wan to come back, how it was going to be a hard time to be a Jedi and that Hayden Christensen was returning to play Darth Vader. What was great about it was seeing a handful of concept art images and a brief look at Hayden training with a lightsaber.

It was a shame that, not only had this video leaked the day before, there were a whole lot of people proclaiming that this was the Sizzle Reel shown at the Disney Investors Day last year to the investors whilst us regular folks saw a black screen.

On top of that, we had all those scoopers saying we were getting trailers for ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, ‘The Bad Batch Season 2’, a Sizzle for ‘Andor’ and a Behind-the-Scenes of ‘The Mandalorian Season 3’ as well as an official announcement of the rumoured animated Darth Maul series.

After the hour-long drive home from work I checked back in… nothing new to speak of, but the Marvel section of the day was underway and we were getting announcements and trailers all over the place. Pixar got some announcements out there as well as a bunch of Disney films mentioned. But Star Wars seemed to be lacking.

And the fandom was outraged.

On the one hand, Disney+ delivered what they said on the Press Release, the Boba Fett documentary and a Sneak Peek at an upcoming project… just one though… and it wasn’t even a new featurette, just taken from the archives, dusted off and passed off as something new.

On the other hand, why were Disney and Lucasfilm not taking this opportunity to generate some hype, show the world what was coming after a pretty quiet year in terms of content (yes we got ‘The Bad Batch’ but was that really enough for all of us).

I’ve seen many fans expressing their disappointment. One even went on to say that, as someone who pays for the service, felt let down because surely, as part of their big “Thank You” to the fans who signed up over the past two years they would give us more to be excited for moving into their third year. A fair comment, did we, as Star Wars fans get our money’s worth? Absolutely not.

But another part of me wonders if we built ourselves up only to be let down by Lucasfilm’s really poor marketing strategies. They waited until six weeks before it airs to put the trailer of for ‘The Book of Boba Fett’. Is that really long enough to generate the level of hype this kind of series would have? Why couldn’t we have already had one trailer at the end of ‘The Bad Batch’ and then get a second one now? Build the hype folks, it’s what keeps us keen.

It feels like the marketing department has gotten a template and just stick to it for every project. We’ve seen it with the films (except Solo: A Star Wars Story which was marketed so poorly no one knew it was coming out). Teaser in April, Behind the Scenes Sizzle in the Summer and then a Trailer at a big sporting event at least three months before the film is released. Like clockwork. Now it’s a six week window for streaming shows. Hardly hype building for Disney+ shows is it?

Also, the marketing strategy always focus’ on the next project after one has been released. Usually this wasn’t a problem with the films, except for ‘Solo’ which got three months of promotion rather than the usual eight months from the first trailer to the release of the film that was coming that year. And look what happened to ‘Solo’, no one knew about it and it was considered a Box Office flop. Does this strategy mean that Disney+ content will be given a handful of week to build hype between each series release? With five different projects coming out next year will there be any crossover? Will the trailer for the next project launch the week after the last one ends?

Now, I’m not a marketing person, however, this marketing strategy really feels absurd. Surely Disney wants to build as much hype around all of their content but Lucasfilm seems to want to solely rely on the fan base devouring the content rather than generate hype outside of the fans. The more casual viewers you get on board the higher the viewing numbers… right.

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