Jedi News has it’s network of Bothan spies all across the United Kingdom and they dropped some big news today.
The following image comes from a magazine/brocure given out at the Brand Licensing Europe 2013 convention in London which was held October 15th-17th.
Judging by the Disney booth it looks like there was a heavy Star Wars presence at the show, though nothing involving Star Wars was listed under the Disney Consumer Products booth information on BLE’s website.
The important news out of the convention that was revealed by Jedi News was what appears to be the rough outline of what Disney plans to do with the Star Wars brand leading up to the release of Episode VII in Spring/Summer of 2015.
The calender features at the top a banner advertising Star Wars Rebels that reads, “A 2014 one-hour special telecast on Disney Channel, followed by a series on Disney XD channels around the world.”
This part isn’t new news but it will come as a relief to many overseas fans that because of Disney’s multiple international Disney XD channels overseas they should get to see the show in a more timely fashion than The Clone Wars was distributed in some cases.
It is then broken down into four seasonal time blocks; Autumn/Winter 2013, Spring/Summer 2014, Autumn/Winter 2014, and Spring/Summer 2015.
LEGO Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles Episodes 2 & 3
Star Wars/Angry Birds Game Sequel Release
Clone Wars Season 5 BR/DVD Release
‘Choose Your Side’ cross-company marketing initiative
Classic Lego Games Mobile Release
Darth Vader Themed TV Specials
REBELS Television Premiere Disney Channel 1-Hour Special with series on Disney XD
Digital Library Launch
Phineas & Ferb Star Wars Special
EPISODE VII Theatrical Release
It then concludes with a section entitled ‘Continuous Multi-Platform Engagement.’ Which lists:
Star Tours and Jedi Training Academy at Disney Parks, Starwars.com, Star Wars fan celebrations, Comic-Con, “May the 4th Be With You” fan holiday, Interactive Gaming – LEGO STar Wars, Angry Birds Star Wars, console games and iOs, Publishing (Print & Digital), Social Media and PR, & Character Appearances.
Now I wonder when this marketing information was written because we saw the LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles second episode Menace of the Sith air on Cartoon Network on September 4th, 2013 and the first two episodes where released on DVD at Walmart on October 15th; however we have no word on when the third episode will be released. Apparently the third episode was briefly leaked on-line on Youtube on October 7th but it was quickly taken down.
The other two items listed under Autumn/Winter 2013 have already been released.
The Spring/Summer 2014 mentions a ‘Choose Your Side’ marketing initiative, which one would assume is lightside/darkside and is something that has already been used in The Old Republic marketing and in the Angry Birds II game.
We have already seen a mobile port of the classic Star Wars game Knights of the Old Republic, so it is no surprise that we will be seeing the LEGO games being ported for mobile devices. I believe this is new news.
The Darth Vader themed TV Specials are probably the biggest news. This is left vague enough that it could be just about anything. It could be documentary style looks at the character it could be a few animated movies. I would hope that we see two animated features dealing with the character in the period between Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Rebels.
In the Autumn/Winter of 2014 we already knew about the Rebels premiere and the Phineas & Ferb crossover, so the real news is the announcement of the Digital Library.
What the Digital Library is was not revealed but given the context of the rest of the announcement, it would seem to be video content. It probably won’t be the films (because of distribution deal with 20th Century Fox) but it could be the other content, like The Clone Wars and earlier television productions like the earlier Clone Wars micro-series, Ewoks, Droids, and the Ewok films Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor. I would note that this Digital Library would be later than the announced release of the bonus content from Season 6 of The Clone Wars, which according to Dave Filoni would be released in “early 2014.”
Something to note about the Digital Library, in September Disney promoted Janice Marinelli to the position of ”president, Disney studio global in-home and digital distribution and Disney ABC North America content distribution.” In her new role Marinelli will basically oversee how you see all Disney owned film and television media across all platforms. Whether or not this Digital Library will be a larger Disney-wide initiative or a Star Wars focused project from Lucasfilm is unclear.
Finally the Spring/Summer 2015 listing of Episode VII‘s theatrical release should help to pour some more cold water on the rumors of a December release that don’t seem to have any factual basis but still won’t seem to die