“The Rise of Skywalker,” the finale of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, is set to open on December 20. While the film itself is getting mixed reviews, artist-designed posters commissioned by Disney Studios to promote the movie on social media have been seeing praise.
In one, Darth Vader’s head is shattered off his body off by Rey’s and Kylo Ren’s light sabers.
In another, Rey faces Kylo Ren as the Millennium Falcon speeds away.
Another retro film poster places the white outlines of Rey and Kylo Ren against an onslaught of Star Destroyers.
Disney Studios worked with illustration and design agency Poster Posse, which represents more than 40 artists, for the creation of the posters. Rebecca Thompson, VP and co-owner of Poster Posse, said eleven artists were commissioned beginning in October to conceive images inspired by the film, existing marketing materials and Star Wars history using their unique art styles.
Every concept was approved by Disney Studios before being shared on all Star Wars social platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
So far nine have been shared online, each receiving hundreds of thousands of likes (according to Midnight Oil Director of Creative Strategy Jack Appleby, who apparently can still see the number of likes Star Wars posts get). Most of the posters are designed with the red and blue colors of light sabers and feature Rey and Kylo Ren, whose impending showdown holds the galaxy in rapture. Thompson says more are coming.
Interestingly, the campaign is gaining attention just as Disney has seen negative headlines for the promotion of another blockbuster, "Frozen 2." According to the Wall Street Journal, Japanese artists who had worked on another art-driven push claimed they were instructed by the agency that hired them to not disclose that their work was for promotion. On the Star Wars campaign, however, all the artists are clearly cited and linked to in each post.
"Disney Studios has always been great about artist credit and/or tagging and its immensely appreciated," says Poster Posse's Thompson. Her company has worked with Disney Studios since 2014 on campaigns around properties such as "The Mandalorian," "Frozen 2," "Avengers: End Game," "Toy Story 4" and more.