The media is abuzz with a major event that is set to occur this evening. It doesn't involve state affairs, foreign affairs, or even extramarital affairs at Boeing. Instead, it involves something much more important -- Star Wars.
Just kidding, of course. There are certainly more important things happening around the world. Nevertheless, don't discount the fervor of all the fans waiting to see the new trailer for the third episode in the new Star Wars trilogy, Revenge of the Sith.
Maybe you think this film is going to be the best thing ever to hit theaters. On the other hand, you may still be trying to figure out why George Lucas cursed cinematic history with a goofy Gungan christened with the inherently redundant moniker Jar Jar. But one thing's for certain: This could be the last Star Wars adventure we'll ever see on the big screen (remember, I italicized the word could -- don't hold me to anything!).
That has the fan base seething with intellectual and emotional conflict; on the one hand, many have felt burned by what they see as two films (Episodes I and II of the new trilogy) that fell far below expectations. (I suppose we must all keep in mind that it was impossible to top the original Star Wars trilogy.) On the other hand, this looks like it, the last chance. It's what Obi-Wan Kenobi was to the holographic Princess Leia in the first film (and by first film, I mean Episode IV) -- our only hope. There is therefore an intrinsically palpable gravity (at least as grave as anticipation for a movie can be) attached to the trailer that will debut tonight during Fox's
It's a well-known fact by now that Fox -- which is set to be totally absorbed by News Corp.
Fox obviously nets some nice cash off this, but it isn't exactly the best deal. In fact, there has been speculation that this is what Michael Eisner wanted to avoid by refusing to be flexible with Steve Jobs and Pixar
There is still value to the Star Wars association, and tonight's trailer placement proves it. The assumption is that a lot of people who otherwise might not tune into The O.C. will sample the program just to catch a glimpse of the final take on the far-far-away universe.
Let me use myself as an example. I knew nothing about The O.C. -- nothing. I had heard about it, but, quite frankly, I thought it was on another network. Then, just last night, I read about the trailer promotion while surfing around starwars.com. I became intrigued, and read a little more about the marketing endeavor. I learned a salient point: It seems there's a character on the show named Seth, who is sort of like a Kevin Smith type, a kid who is into comic books and genre films and -- not surprisingly -- Star Wars. I kid you not. Now, I'm looking forward to seeing the both the Star Wars trailer andThe O.C.
The synergy worked. Fox now has the opportunity to hook me (and you) into the show -- all because of Lucas's intellectual property, a film for which Lucas gets most of the profits. It's not a bad deal if Fox can convert a lot of these new eyeballs to loyal viewers of The O.C., considering that the TV network is an important component to News Corp's earnings.
So to all those who will join me tonight in eager scrutiny of the new trailer, I say, "May the Force be with you!" The nerd-o-meter started clicking more loudly just then, didn't it? Oh, well.
I'll leave you with one last bit of synergy -- the trailer will also be part of the Robots experience this weekend in theaters (yep, it's a Fox project). Sensible integration; you just can't beat it.
Check out these related articles:
- Fox Throws, and Takes, a Block
- Malcolm and Me in the Middle
- Disney Toys with Jobs' Baby
- Disney, Pixar, Apple: Who's to Blame?
- Have some Jedi mind tricks you'd like to play? Share them with the Fox community.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. He's hoping that George Lucas will now buckle down and really get going on a new Indiana Jones movie.