When the Star Wars Digital Movie Collection released last month, many fans noticed that Disney was no longer using the Episode numbers of the films in the marketing. There are a lot of theories as to why this has happened, and when it was discovered we learned it was a marketing decision. Now some more information has come to light to explain the reasoning behind such a decision.
Yesterday Disney held an earnings call, and CEO Bob Iger discussed Star Wars for a while. The Hollywood Reporter has some key quotes from him, and this one has to do with the marketing decisions:
â€œThis is already a very strong franchise, but a film has not been released in 10 years,” said Iger. “Weâ€™re not treating this as something that is brand new. Weâ€™re mindful of the fact that thereâ€™s a whole generation of people out there that were not as steeped in the Star Wars lore and not as in love with the franchise as an older generation.”
If you’re trying to market your new $4 billion toy to people who are unfamiliar with the franchise, you don’t want an Episode number staring at them in the face on the poster. You’ll still see “Episode VII” in the opening crawl of The Force Awakens, but by not including the episode number in the marketing it makes the movie feel more accessible to that generation that Disney is trying to reach.
This has nothing to to with Disney sweeping aside the Prequels or making them non-canon like a delusional vocal minority on the internet likes to preach. It’s all about maximizing the number of people Disney can reach with their new Star Wars movie to introduce fans to the franchise without overwhelming them with the idea they’d be out of the loop by seeing a movie with an “Episode VII” on the poster.