(BLOOMBERG) - There was a great disturbance in the force on Friday (Oct 6), as if millions of Star Wars fans suddenly cried out in joy while trying to read Japanese.
Disney released a new trailer in Japan for the coming film, The Force Awakens, and the two-minute video included several snippets that had not yet been released in film's three preceding previews.
For the discerning Japanese filmgoer, Disney saw fit to roll out cinematic space-crash scenery, storm troopers with flame-throwers, new names, more dialogue, and a close-up of Chewbacca's hand (opposable thumb and all).
Vast swaths of the Internet occupied by Star Wars fanatics predictably exploded with glee and speculation.
If you can't watch the movie and you've already watched the trailer, of course you're going to want to watch someone else watching the trailer.
Here's the Japanese trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdAUiyeJMFQ
And here's the most recent US trailer:
It's not unusual for Hollywood to splice different trailers together with footage highlighting scenes of the movie shot in a target market.
For franchises like Furious and Transformers, in fact, setting scenes and production all over the world is a savvy exercise in audience building. With all of that exotic footage in the can, editing a host of different regional trailers becomes an exceedingly cheap and effective form of targeted marketing.
But Star Wars is set, well, a long time ago in a galaxy much further from Los Angeles than Tokyo.
Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst at Rentrak, said that trickling new footage outside of the US is a subtle way for Disney to signal to international fans that they're a big part of the distribution strategy - bigger than ever, in this case. Japan is behind only to the US and China in box office revenue.
Of course, Disney's Star Wars strategy has been an extended burlesque of robot-porn.
Every trailer and every new toy-even advanced ticket sales - has been a carefully crafted social-media event. The Japanese trailer footage is just the latest part of the run-up.
And fans are fine with that, according to Dergarabedian: "Star Wars is that rare breed of film that can instill an almost unprecedented amount of anticipation."