Dear Disney Marketers,
JJ Abrams here. I understand there have been some concerns about my marketing plan for Episode VII based on the supposed underperformance of the most recent Star Trek film. First of all we matched the opening of the original film and are going to make three times as much overseas so I think everyone should probably calm down a little. Also it’s Star Trek. We were marketing a franchise whose biggest fans either can’t or won’t leave the house. All things considered I think we did great.
The reason for this success is of course my “Mystery Box.” We have to hide as much as we can from the audience in order to get those mouth breathers to the movies. I know I don’t make great movies. No one does anymore. We can’t, it’s not an option. Between the studio, marketing partners, overseas financing, and the increasingly vocal internet fan it’s a mess trying to make a big tent pole film. In marketing the whole goal is to lead with your strengths and with most of these movies our greatest strength is that no one has seen the film yet. As soon as they do, we’re boned. So that’s why I use the mystery box method.
I understand the concerns Disney/Lucasfilm has with my marketing method but we have to hide Episode VII as best we can. Do you honestly think anyone is going to want to watch a sixty-year-old Mark Hamill be a Jedi? They think they do now, but as soon as they see him in action we are going to be hosed. It’s a miracle no one even knows that Harrison Ford has been dead for the last eight years and we have been using a semi life-like puppet. The current model of Harrison puppet is only capable of two expressions, sleepy and tired. We will have to hide the fact that the greatest space smuggler in movie history looks like a sleepy muppet. The only way? Mystery Box.
Let’s talk about some of the other elephants in the room. I am casting Kerri Russell in this. Felicity is going to space. The current draft of the script has her using a fake name only to be revealed at the end of the second act as Luke Skywalker’s daughter. I know what you’re thinking. Jedi daughter, we can sell that. No you can’t. It’s a secret. Has to be. Why? Mystery box. In fact I want all toys of her to just be a lady in a grey pantsuit. No light saber, it would give it away. Her real name is Lana Skywalker she awesome. One of the greatest Jedi’s the galaxy has ever seen. But it’s got to be a secret. We can’t let the audience know that the next Star Wars movie has Jedi. We are going to keep it locked in the mystery box.
How about our biggest secret? Darth Vader is back! Cloned. Not Anakin though, people hated that guy. Something in the cloning process keeps him from being completely human and so the only way to keep the clone alive is to place him in a Darth Vader suit. A brand new Darth Vader, sounds awesome, right? We can’t tell anyone. I don’t want to see any toys, I don’t want to feature him in any of the marketing. Has to be a secret. Mystery box! Now clone Vader is revealed in the first scene after the crawl and is featured heavily in the film. But we have to keep it a secret. No one can know. Trust me I gave a TED talk.
Uh, what else. Jar Jar’s great grandson is in the movie. That I think we can sell. People are ready to accept him as a hero and embrace a new Jar Jar. I want Jim Jim to be featured in all our marketing material. Wait, no. Keep it in the mystery box. Lock it up. Here is how we market the film. We open on black. White text. “A new film from JJ Abrams.” No, that won’t work. We open on black. White Text. “A new film.” Yeah. That works. No music. Just text. Not even the date. It’s all a mystery, what is it? A movie. We don’t have tell them anything else. It will be great. Trust me on this one; I’m your only hope.
Lock it up,