I’m stoked to see the new Star Wars film. I plan to see it on opening night (hopefully, midnight or earlier the day before!) and already know what I am going to wear to teach strength class the day it comes out.
But you know what doesn’t have me as excited? All the darn merchandising for the new and old films that seems to have exploded, everywhere.
I don’t want to know much about the new film – I want the characters and plot to be a surprise when I see it. And that’s not exactly easy with Star Wars branded on EVERYTHING. Even if I stay out of the toy aisle, I see Star Wars food, clothes, stationary, home goods, and so on.
And it’s not just that I don’t want spoilers. The amount of merchandise seems excessive to me. A bit sickening, actually. It feels like it’s EVERYWHERE. I want to be excited about the film because it’s good – not because of all the “collectibles” that go along with it. No one needs all that stuff, but the advertising sure makes you think you do! I found myself in the women’s clothing aisle at Target on Saturday holding up a retro style A New Hope shirt wondering what size I should get… before I came to my senses and remembered I have many Star Wars shirts already! I don’t need that one, just because it’s new and cute.
This makes me wonder what it was like when the original Star Wars was released in 1977. I’ve seen the (yes, cool) toys from then. Were they branding food, clothes and home goods as well then, too? Was it as nuts? Maybe!
I say all this, and yet, I succumb to it. The reason I’m such a huge fan is because of the 1997 re-release*, and yes, partially because of how commercialized it was. And I’ve even purchased a shirt and Lego set from the new movie for my nephew for his birthday – I love that he loves Star Wars. (So, yeah, hypocrite.)
And that’s a huge part of how it’s being advertised – as a love for a story that you should pass down your family line. I’m all for that, I really am – I just don’t think it needs to be so forced (buah ha ha). It should be natural (after seeing the film), or at least, not completely driven by commericalism and seller influence. But, how else would kids learn about things, unless family or friends told them? And maybe those family and friends are stoked to see all this stuff in the stores, because it helps get their kids excited about the film? As an adult, all I needed was the movie trailer, to get me pumped to see it, but I’ve mostly outgrown a desire for toys and collecting “things” (mostly). Everyone’s different.
I’m cool with more people loving Star Wars. I just hope it’s for the story (first?) and the gadgets (later). I understand the merchandise makes a lot of money and I don’t think there should be none. And I’m sure that after seeing the film, there will be something I just have to have… but it won’t be available because everyone bought it in September. Ha!
I guess (after reading through this draft a zillion times) what I don’t like about all this now, is that it makes the studio seem so GREEDY. Too much focus on stuff and not story. There ya go. I should have just put that sentence at the top!
This post is all Star Wars, because that’s what’s on my radar, but there must be other films/shows/bands/etc. that are way over-advertised/merchandised?! Or maybe I’m the only old lady yelling at kids to get off my lawn, ha!
*Obviously, Han shot first