Interest in “The Force Awakens” is already so extreme that Disney knows its safest option is to hold back. Revealing too much too soon could overheat the marketplace at the wrong time, perhaps even making casual ticket buyers less interested in turning out on Dec. 18. Hard-core fans, meanwhile, could recoil at what they see — Jar Jar Binks: never forget — leading to an impossible-to-contain surge of bad buzz that could spill into the mainstream.
Almost nothing has been revealed about the movie’s plot. Many character descriptions and droid designs have been kept state secrets. Even Princess Leia’s hairstyles have been carefully guarded, although Carrie Fisher let slip that there would be no side-mounted buns, prompting headlines across the web.
In part because of the shortage of information, whenever a “Force Awakens” tidbit has been divulged, the reaction has been like food sprinkled over a piranha tank. A trailer lasting 1 minute 22 seconds, released at a fan event in April, generated 88 million online views in 24 hours, setting a Guinness World Record.
Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply, “Promoters of Coming ‘Star Wars’ Film Have a Delicate Dance at Comic-Con”, The New York Times (11 July 2015), B3.