Everytime a new Star Wars movie hits cinemas, the hype is real for fans. Yet it doesn’t take long for story’s to emerge about how associated toy lines have spoiled major plot points (Like Rey’s figurine holding a lightsaber). If you’re curious just how much the major toy manufacturers like Hasbro know about the movies and their spoilers – turns out it’s not all that much.
Speaking with Screen Rant, Hasbro Senior Principle Designer Mark Boudreaus and Global Brand Marketing Senior Manager Andy Ochiltree stated that they weren’t savvy to some of Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers:
Boudreaux: To be able to do the product that we do, obviously we have to know what things look like – vehicles, characters. But there are times, because we are fans, there are times where we don’t always necessarily want to know how everything connects, so it’s just as new and as fresh for us when we see the film because now it’s edited, it has context, it has a soundtrack.
Ochiltree: Luke is a great example from The Force Awakens. We didn’t know Luke was in The Force Awakens until we saw it in the theaters, which, as a fan I’m like, ‘Good, great! That was a nice surprise.’
It gets even more interesting when talking about Rogue One. Boudreaux revealed that they were told explicitly there wouldn’t be any Jedi scenes in the movie.
‘We did not know in Rogue One – we were told, ‘There are no Jedi, no lightsabers, no nothing’ in Rogue One. All of a sudden at the end, somebody’s breathing and there’s a red lightsaber that lights up. We were all just like, ‘What?’ … That’s what we were told, ‘This is a ground battle-centric movie, it’s not lightsabers, it’s not Jedi’ and then all of a sudden Vader’s there – it just blew our minds.’
It usually ends up with the company scrambling to get a new design out in the wake of some bigger spoilers;
‘We don’t know everything, but I think we certainly need to know enough to put out a compelling product line – something that people will gravitate towards when they see the film. We don’t try to do everything at once. If there are things that we find out when we watch the film, we’re going like, ‘OK that’s the very next thing we’ve got to do.’ Then we go back and start developing that to get those things out the door as quickly as possible.’
I personally find this very interesting – as it shines a light on the how merchandise is handled by Disney. Star Wars is much-loved so spoilers can he a huge pain for those who are actively avoiding them – but it’s interesting to know just how much Hasbro is told heading in.
I guess when you next see a spoiler in The Last Jedi’s toy range, you can do so knowing that it (probably) wasn’t intentional.