Friday, December 8, 2017

Rian Johnson Discusses Manipulation in the Marketing of 'The Last Jedi'

By: Dominic Jones

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the trailers and the marketing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and how much of it can be trusted to be accurate and how is manipulated to make the audience think something.  This is especially significant given what the TV spots have revealed in the last few days.  Writer/director Rian Johnson discussed this recently in an interview with /Film, where he made the statement "the trailers never misrepresent the movie(...)even when they’re using manipulation in various ways."

When asked by /Film about the trailers, Johnson said,

"I think the marketing has been, the trailers have been brilliant.  I’m 100 percent behind what they’ve done with the trailers, because I feel like yeah, and again this’ll be easier to talk about after the movie comes out, the trailers never misrepresent the movie. I don’t think so.  Unless maybe some of the TV spots I haven’t been paying attention to or something.  But I don’t think so.  I think the trailers do a very good job even when they’re using manipulation in various ways."

My personal interpretation of what Johnson is saying, when it comes to the trailers for The Last Jedi in particular, is that they are selling ideas rather than specific moments in the film.  For example, at the end of the main trailer we're led to believe that Kylo is offering Rey his hand so that she might join him.  However, people have since examined the footage and it doesn't look like the two moments that make up the end of the trailer are from the same scene.  But, we've seen stills and other images that show or imply Rey and Kylo are both in the same scene and they don't look to be antagonizing each other.  So even though the final moment of the trailer used footage from separate scenes to imply a moment that may not actually happen, the idea that Rey and Kylo Ren might team up still seems like a very real possibility.  In other words, they manipulate the footage to create a moment that, even though it doesn't exist, doesn't misrepresent what may happen (I assume) in the movie.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15th.  The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Amilyn Holdo, Benicio Del Toro as DJ, and Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata.

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