I’ve seen a few people hoping that we’ll get an Episode VIII trailer with Rogue One. And while I’m as eager to see something new from VIII as anyone else, I don’t see it happening. At all. (And technically didn’t we already get a teaser?)
Here’s the thing: If they drop us something substantial for Episode VII, it will absolutely dominate the Star Wars news cycle for days, if not weeks. In other words: If they drop an Episode VIII teaser in the next 9 days, it takes attention away Rogue One. A lot of attention.
Lucasfilm doesn’t want to distract from Rogue One, and they don’t want to confuse people. I suspect we’ve all heard from (or of) people who are confused about Rogue One. Maybe they think it’s VIII; Maybe they don’t get it, period. It’s new territory, after all. Throwing brand-new Episode VIII footage around is only going to muddy those waters.
That doesn’t apply to all of us. Some of us multitask our fandom. We live and breathe Star Wars. But not every fan does. Not every fan is glued to social media, collecting every crumb. Not every fan needs that. And hell, maybe they’re healthier for it. (I won’t presume.)
We’re long past comparing the run up to VIII to that for The Force Awakens: Episode VII was the first live-action Star Wars movie in ten years, at the helm of a re-purposed franchise. Of course, we got the first teaser a year ahead of time. Of course, the timeline was different. From the initial announcement until it showed up on Blu-ray, it was the focal point of a $4B franchise. Right now? That focal point is Rogue One. And with Star Wars films coming every year, this is our new baseline.
No one is ignoring VIII, and certainly not the press – actors will talk, questions will be asked. Some of them may get (very vague) answers that turn into dozens of headlines. But we’re not going to get anything huge from the official sources.
There’s plenty of time for Episode VIII in 2017. It will absolutely have a huge presence in Orlando next April. (Maybe we get a teaser – or a title – before Celebration in Orlando, but remember Rogue One‘s first teaser? April.) But through at least January, Lucasfilm needs to sell Rogue One. And only Rogue One.