There’s a Reason Solo: A Star Wars Story is Still Coming Out In May

He and Chewie have been in tight scrapes before, but nothing like this.

I’ve written repeatedly in the last couple years about how Disney’s release plan for the Star Wars films, at least those after 2015’s relaunch with The Force Awakens, is executed on a consolidated schedule compared to many other blockbuster franchises. In each case, the marketing for the next movie has to wait until the release window for the previous one is fully closed. So Rogue One’s campaign didn’t begin until The Force Awakens was on home video. The Last Jedi’s didn’t start until Rogue One was on home video.

With each movie coming out in December and the home video release generally happening in May, that’s just a seven month window for the marketing to operate within. That’s unusual in today’s marketplace, where IP-driven franchise films routinely have trailers drop a year or more out from release. It keeps the potential for audience confusion and burnout down, though, since the public only has to focus on one Star Wars movie at a time.

Precedent is about to be broken with this May’s release of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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