November 19, 2019

This New 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Poster Looks Pretty Similar to a Spielberg Classic

Disney has released a new, Dolby exclusive Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker poster and, if you turn it upside down, it looks a lot like a movie made by J.J. Abrams' mentor. 

The Force is strong with the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker poster as Disney and Lucasfilm ramp up their marketing campaign with one month to go before the trilogy capper's December release.

The poster launch coincides with Entertainment Weekly's recent cover story chronicling the making of J.J. Abrams' last Star Wars film -- and the final movie wrapping up 40-plus years of the Skywalker Saga. 

But look a little closer at the new poster, and flip it upside-down, and you'll see it has similarities to another blockbuster piece of marketing. Our friends at The Daily Jaws on Twitter posted it and now we can't unsee it:

While we can't say for sure if Jaws' iconic one-sheet served as an inspiration for the poster for Abrams' movie, we do know that Abrams is big Spielberg fan and was sort of mentored by the Oscar-winning director when Abrams' feature career was getting started. Abrams is also a big movie fan, and Disney's marketing team is crazy-good at coming up with simple but effective marketing concepts that convey tone, theme, and scale. This new one-sheet is arguably more impactful and impressive than any of the official theatrical posters for the release -- the "cooler", less safe marketing choices tend to go to Dolby Cinema or IMAX or Mondo exclusives. This poster should have been the teaser poster, or a teaser poster. Thankfully, Disney and Lucasfilm and the filmmakers realized they had a winner here and released it. 

While this new trilogy has garnered criticism for being tied too closely to the format and events of the original one that started in 1977, it is refreshing to see the marketing for it go "outside the box" in this final stretch before release and providing audiences with imagery they haven't seen before in the promotion of Star Wars movies.

The new trilogy has followed a very rigid marketing template when it comes to posters. Starting with The Force Awakens in 2015, the formula has followed a title treatment teaser poster over a starry background. Then, we get a second one-sheet teaser that is usually one or two images, which gives way to a third and final one-sheet that is a montage of events and characters from the film -- in the classic style of Drew Struzan's original artwork. 

The IMAX and Dolby exclusive poster art are extensions of the core marketing campaign. And this new poster is an all-timer for the franchise. 

The Rise of Skywalker opens everywhere December 20. 

What is your favorite Star Wars poster ever? Sound off below. 

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