Rian Johnson Says 'The Last Jedi' Marketing Manipulates, But Never Misrepresents

This past weekend, I had a chance to sit down with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to talk about the new Star Wars film, which no one outside of Lucasfilm has seen yet. Since the filmmakers can't say much about the film, I decided to ask about the marketing.

In the last trailer and some recent TV spots, we've begun to see moments from the movie that seem like they might be spoilers, but many fans believe the scenes (like the moment between Kylo and Rey in the final trailer) might actually be deceptively edited to help protect spoilers. In the interview, Rian admitted that the marketing manipulates, but never misrepresents the final film.

While the full interview will be posted next week, I wanted to share some excerpts from the discussion, especially as we barrel into the final stages of The Last Jedi marketing.

You see all the marketing for this film and red is certainly all over it.  

It is prominent.

Is that your decision? Why red?

Yeah.  Yeah, well, during the design of the film, there were a couple really key sequences and scenes where red just ended up playing a really big part in that.  Something about it, there was something about how graphically bold it is.  There's also something about, I don't know, it feels kind of dangerous.  It feels vibrant and alive.  Something about it just like really felt right for this movie.

The trailers for this film seem very calculated.  And I think some people have speculated that some of the marketing might even be a little deceptive to help preserve the experience the fans, so I'm wondering what your thoughts are about this.  How involved are you in that?

Yeah. I'm very involved with it.  And 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.

Like when they're using someone else's voice-over over someone.

They never misrepresent the movie.  And also the other thing I love about the trailers is they don't give you answers, they just give you questions.  Which I think is really exciting.  So yeah, I've been really thrilled with the trailers the guys have been doing for it.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15, 2017.