A Look Into The Cross Promotion Strategy & Product Tie-Ins For Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
There’s no doubt that Star Wars is a huge franchise, its power and relevance stretching over four decades. Star Wars and the company that creates it, Lucasfilm, made its name releasing highly successful movies, but the franchise has come to encompass so much more than that. In addition to its massive merchandising empire of toys and consumer products, Lucasfilm has also produced multiple popular animated shows, video games, books, comics, and a highly watched live-action TV Show, The Mandalorian.1 (Team Tandem is obsessed with Baby Yoda!)
This year, the franchise opened two new theme parks in California’s Disneyland Resort and Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort. Called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the themed area spans 14 acres at each park and features attractions, shops, restaurants, and a full-size Millennium Falcon.
To promote its new park, Lucasfilm used a strategic cross-promotion strategy and multiple product tie-ins. Take a look at how they did it!
Explore Batuu In Tie-In Novels
At the beginning of the year, Star Wars announced a collection of tie-in novels and comics that would be released near the opening dates of each of the two parks.2 By reading these stories, fans could get their first glimpse at Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu, the setting for Galaxy’s Edge.
- Marvel Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge miniseries by Ethan Sacks with art by Will Sliney
- Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson
- A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Córdova
- Star Wars: Myths & Fables by George Mann
Readers would follow characters as they went on adventures throughout Black Spire Outpost and visited its many attractions. Many of the places visited and items used in these stories would be in the real-life park: from Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop to droids and Fuzzy Tauntaun cocktails. These stories were used to hype up the parks and push readers into visiting once they were opened.
Cross Promotion Via Video Game?
In early November, the highly anticipated Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was released. This action-adventure video game was developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts (EA).3 For most of the game, players follow the red-headed main character Cal Kestis, a Jedi padawan who survived Order 66 (aka the massacre that killed most of the Jedi warriors in Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith), as he tries to restore the Jedi Order.
While the game isn’t set in Batuu like Lucasfilm’s previous product tie-ins, it does have a powerful connection to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Throughout the game, Cal is able to collect lightsaber parts. After collecting enough parts, players can build a customized lightsaber and have Cal use their unique creation instead of his standard blue or green saber.
Build Your Own Lightsaber Twice
One player, Ryan Gilliam, discovered that many parts looked eerily similar to the real-life parts used at the lightsaber-building attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, Savi’s Workshop. Ryan created a lightsaber in the game that almost completely matched the one he had made during his visit to the theme park.4
If the game inspired one player to re-build his physical lightsaber in the virtual world. Other players might be inspired to rebuild their virtual lightsabers in the real world by visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Such is the power of an effective cross-promotion strategy and relevant product tie-ins!
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- James Comtois, SYFY – The Mandalorian dethrones Stranger Things as most-viewed original streaming series
- com Team – STEP INTO STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE WITH NEW BOOKS, COMICS, AND FABLES
- Samuel Roberts & Joe Knoop – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: Gameplay, release date and everything we know
- Ryan Gilliam, Polygon – I recreated my Galaxy’s Edge lightsaber in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order