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What Lucasfilm and Co Are Doing Right

A month or so ago at the Sci-Fi Expo, a bunch of us got to meet Jen Donahoe, internet representative from Hasbro, at the toy show. It was the first time we met, so a lot of other people and I were eager to tell her what we thought about the toys. When we met her, she was suddenly bombarded with the following questions:

"Why does the 12" Hoth Leia look like a man?:
"What's up with an ATTACK R5-D4?"
"Why does the battle droid make that funny motion when you push his buttons?"
"Why aren't there more 12" Chewbaccas?"
"How come none of the figures fit in their vehicles?"
"The cards for the figures suck."
"Why no B-Wing?"
"Why no skiff?"

And the comments went on and on. As you can see, they were all complaints. Not any of our comments were about what we liked or what we thought they did well. It's horrible to bombard someone with nothing but negative comments, and generally that's what many Star Wars fans are most vocal about: their complaints. I don't believe m we are malicious when we do it, but at the same time we don't really think about what we say either. I know that if we got nothing but complaints about TheForce.Net, we would have quit a long time ago.

Recently, I think Lucasfilm has been doing a lot RIGHT. I think a lot of you out there will agree with me, too. I feel it's important to point these things out so they continue to do it. What do you think?

EPISODE 1 TRAILER - I thought this was executed very well. I felt the trailer was perfect for satisfying spoiler hounds (like me), people that didn't want to see too much, and getting those people who didn't know about it interested. It also made it clear what the movie was about: young Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker. No Harrison Ford here. The advance screenings in many cities allowed many fans to know exactly WHEN and WHERE they would be able to see the trailer without having to guess at their local theater. The fact that it was early made it easier to get into as well. Admittedly, many of you out there didn't get to see it, but you couldn't expect something like this to appear everywhere. But that leads to my next point.

ONLINE TRAILER - Having it available quickly was really cool. That way, overseas fans didn't have to wait and listen to all the US fans talking about it. Yes, many of the servers were/are hard to get to, but when you have 400,000 people a day trying to get it, technical difficulties are understandable. Still, it was great to have it there for us. And having it in many formats was a plus. I hate Real Video.

STAP with BATTLE DROID - Unlike other Hasbro toys, I was able to find this right when it came out. It was widely available and easy to find. If only all the other toys were this easy to get. It was also reasonably priced, in my opinion. (Some of you may disagree.)

EPISODE 1 POSTER - Immediately after the theaters started receiving their posters and banners, the Star Wars Insider started selling posters and shipping them. Not only that, they were VERY reasonably priced at $13. Can't beat that. Hopefully the rest of the posters will be this easy to find.

These are just a few thoughts of mine, and hopefully Lucasfilm and the licensees will continue their great track record. And just so I don't get accused of kissing butt, I think it's important to take note of room for improvement. Hopefully starwars.com will be ready for the next massive blitz when the second trailer comes out. Get those extra servers before the rush hits! I'd also like to see the Insider make the double sided posters available to the public rather than just the one sided sheets. I also hope that Hasbro will continue to be able to meet demand as the new toys come out. Will they be able to? Hard to tell at this point.

Do you think Lucasfilm and Co. has been doing good so far? Let us know what you think.

- Scott Chitwood


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