Store Wars: Disney capitalizes on mobile hype through merchandise, memorabilia

Lucy Raleigh

It’s finally here, Episode VII of the Star Wars saga: The Force Awakens. Many devoted Star Wars fans could hardly wait to sit down in theaters wearing their fandom t-shirts and carrying their large buckets of popcorn to once again gaze upon the classic introductory paragraph as it floated off into the starry abyss behind it. They couldn’t wait to soak in the entire film with all of it’s explosions, plot twists and turns, and many juicy, important, and devastating cliffhangers leading audiences into the next episode set to release in 2017.

Despite the masses of prepared fans ready at the box office on opening day, there are plenty of fans still waiting to see the film and trying their best to dodge spoilers posted on just about every media platform available.

Although these waiting fans remain vigilant in avoiding spoilers, there is no way for them to avoid the commercialized intensity created by the money-sucking monster, that is Disney. Granted, Disney does know how to make some good movies and make pretty sizable profits from these movies, too. Apart from this, I do think that Disney could do without pasting their latest movie venture onto just about any product or label they can.

Whether it be billions upon billions of action figures, costumes, or weapons or bags of Mandarin oranges with pictures of a somewhat orange-reminiscent droid on the label, Disney manages to stop at nothing to get their films across to not just one demographic, but everyone on the face of the planet.

Luckily, Disney didn’t mess up and managed to put out an amazing episode to the saga, filled with lots of cool fight scenes and pretty explosions. There is one thing Disney pulled over on the whole Star Wars thing. Even three months before the film was released in December of 2015, fans were able to find random items with the faces of the new characters pasted all over them. While this made me really excited for the new movie – even though I didn’t need much help with that – I was beginning to think: was this whole over-commercializing thing really necessary, and would the film live up to the hype?

This maneuver is nothing new to Disney, in fact, it’s practically the oldest trick in their book of capitalistic trade secrets. For years, Disney has put the face of almost every princess, talking animal, or even car onto any product they can, and it’s been working for them for as long as anyone can remember.

If you were alive during the onslaught of Frozen, everything was Frozen themed after the iconic and much loved multi-million film was released in November of 2013, was themed with the two main characters, Anna and Elsa. To this day, I can find new Frozen products ranging from jelly beans to cotton swabs (yes, I really have some Frozen cotton swabs), and I, along with many others, aren’t too sure when the Frozen craze is going to end, and with the second Frozen film set to release in 2018, I don’t think it ever will.

Since the whole Frozen franchise wasn’t enough for greedy ol’ Disney, it seems like they’ve decided to go all out with their newest and baddest film franchise: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you can remember way back in October of 2012 when Disney bought out the company Lucasfilm, from which the classic Star Wars saga was born, no one was too happy about the sell-out. Most of us feared for the next Star Wars film, worrying that it would be ruined in the hands of Disney.

If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Disney knows how to milk a film for all that it’s worth. Even if it takes putting a picture of the lead droid in the new Star Wars movie onto any product ranging including nail polish and bags of oranges at the grocery store.