Shortly before The Book of Boba Fett premiered its first episode on Disney+, showrunner Robert Rodriguez revealed a shocking reality. Despite several teaser trailers and TV spots, what Star Wars fans had seen barely broke the surface of what really lay beneath the series.
Two episodes in, it’s clear Rodriguez really wasn’t exaggerating. The trailers for the Boba Fett-centric series only showed footage from what we’re now calling “present time.” Shots of Boba in his armor, Fennec Shand with her rifle, and Mos Espa’s many species flooded our small screens. But anyone who’s watched even only several minutes of the show knows that footage didn’t even begin to describe what the show is really about.
Since the premiere, we’ve been introduced to a series of flashbacks or “dreams” that have revealed everything from how Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc pit to how he lost his armor to the jawas and more. The idea that he would fall in with a tribe of Tusken Raiders didn’t even register in most fans’ minds. Very few theorized this would essentially become the heart of the series – or, rather, the first few chapters.
Since the dawn of social media and all that’s come with it, fans of various franchises have complained that movie trailers and their resulting waves of speculation give away too much. All the jokes are in the trailers. Scenes from the third act are right there in plain sight. Many fans have come to avoid trailers altogether for fear of blatant spoilers.
The Book of Boba Fett didn’t fall prey to the temptation to promote the best of what it had to offer before the show even dropped. And sure, technically, it didn’t have to. It’s unique in that Star Wars fans were going to watch a show about ruthless bounty hunter Boba Fett no matter how little information they got from the Disney+ teasers.
But if the show’s marketing proved anything, it’s that movie and TV show trailers don’t have to give everything away to draw audiences in. In fact, films and shows have the potential to hit viewers much stronger the less they know. Very few could have predicted what we were actually getting in these flashbacks. If they’d shown even a few seconds of that in trailers, the shock factor wouldn’t have landed so flawlessly.
Perhaps this idea of not revealing everything in a trailer only works for certain types of shows. Maybe it only works for major, well-established franchises who will sell tickets and subscriptions no matter what. Audiences flew to Disney+ at launch because there was a new Star Wars show whose trailers also revealed very little about the true premise of the series.
Future Star Wars projects then, at least, can take note. It seems the less fans know going in, the more they have to discuss weekly after each new episode. We thought we were getting a straight crime drama set in a galaxy far, far away. It’s something much different than that. And it’s a good thing we’re just learning this now, instead of before anyone had a chance to see the show for themselves.
The Book of Boba Fett is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.