Licensing Ignores Prequel Movies

One of the ongoing grievances at SWPAS is official fandom treating the prequel films like illegitimate children via some prostitute with crabs. An indicator that official fandom has taken that position is the very low amount of prequel -themed merchandise available since 2005. There’s plenty of retro, nostalgic, and new stuff based on the first set of Star Wars movies and of course, plenty of kid stuff based on Clone Wars. In fact, if you go through any current line of licensed merchandise, whether it’s Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids, Payless, Adidas, Stride Rite, etc., everything is either from Eps IV-VI or from Clone Wars. There are no Queen Amidala cookie molds or Qui-Gon sneakers or Jango Fett lunch boxes. Why is that?

I’m sure if I were to point this out to Lucas Licensing, they would likely argue that they made tons of prequel-themed merchandise for years and that the market for them is long-saturated. They would likely argue that there wasn’t a lot of stuff based on the first trilogy after the Special Editions and they’re just making up for lost time. They might also argue the first trilogy of films have been around longer and have greater general recognition and general nostalgic value for older Star Wars fans who have the spending loot and kids with whom they want to share their appreciation for those films. They may even try to be slick and say, “We’ve got the prequels covered with the Clone Wars.”

It’s completely understandable that it’s in their interest to keep Eps IV-VI in the public eye and of course, I’m perfectly fine with that. Clearly there’s a demand for merch from those movies. I can even understand they want to see how things from the first set of movies sell first before expanding a line to include prequel stuff. But since there weren’t Adidas shoes when TPM, AOTC, or ROTS were out, what’s stopping them from doing those shoes now? Again, it’s been five years since anything new has hit the shelves. Little kids from that era are teens and young adults now.

As for Clone Wars, we at SWPAS clearly love the show but while Clone Wars includes many of the same characters, it’s not the same thing as the movies. And for some reason they don’t think anyone over the age of 10 enjoys the show. Anyway, using Clone Wars as a cover to avoid the prequel movies cheapens both the show and the movies. Clone Wars should exist as an entity to enjoy in its own right, and not be used as a way to sweep the movies under some rug or toss them into the memory hole.

No, the nagging feeling we have is that there are two things going on here. One, Lucas Licensing is distancing itself from the prequel films because of a perception they’re not popular or loved by fans. Two, a lot of people who work at Lucasfilm or with them just don’t like the prequels very much.

Now, there are good licensees who recognize there is demand for prequel film products, even to this day. Sideshow Collectibles continues to produce a steady stream of high-quality merchandise and Hasbro still produces prequel film action figures. Kotobukiya and Diamond Select Toys still produce prequel stuff. We’re keeping an eye on Her Universe.

But there’s a lot more they could be doing, but they’re not doing. I’ve stopped buying a lot of stuff partially for this reason. Until the licensing program starts to treat all of the movies equally and like the classics that they are, I’m buying only from licensees that do treat them all equally.

I have considered an All Or Nothing campaign, a letter campaign, or a petition to request more prequel film stuff. So long as they think there’s no demand, things won’t change. Let me know what you think is the most viable–there are advantages and disadvantages to letters, petitions, or boycotts/buycotts.

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2 Responses to “Licensing Ignores Prequel Movies”

  1. oxward321 Says:

    If there’s a petition I’ll sign it! I’ve already been boycotting a LOT of Star Wars stuff! I love all the films and the Clone Wars but, I’M SO SICK OF SEEING NOTHING BUT OT AND CLONE WARS apparel! WE NEED NEW PT apparel, damn it!!! As well as other licensing! Namely Gentle Giants, for me, they have been doing nothing but piss me off with every new announcement they make, beside their lack of quality, shrinkage, bad paints, rusty magnets, lame poses and DELAYS, DELAYS, DELAYS! It’s been over a year since I pre-ordered the Battle Droid mini-bust, and still no word on when it’s coming out! All they seem to announce is OT pieces! But there is a BIG demand for PT busts: http://www.gentlegiantcollectors.com/registry/mostwanted/viewresults.php?themeid=1 and yet they tend to ignore any PT related questions over at Reblescum!??? WTF!!!!!

    Unlike SideShow! They are THE best!! They get better and better all the time. Check out what’s coming soon:
    http://www.sideshowtoy.com/?page_id=21209&WP_072010&preview&clonetrooperpf I am SO PUMPED for this!!!! A Phase I Clone PF is one of my MOST WANTED pieces!!!! SideShow will be getting all my money, what little bit there is!! I’m boycotting Gentle Giants until they get the act together, which is unlikely!

    There is one thing I’m REALLY getting worried about with Lucas Licensing, that’s the Bluray Saga box set! They better not cheap out on the PT and give all the attention to the OT! I want a EQUALLY balanced box set for the ENTIRE “Classic” Saga!!! If anyone is going to be at SDCC or CV and a Q & A happens please, PLEASE bring this to their attention! Let’s NOT let that happen.

    It’s sad that I’d even have to worry about something like that. I LOVE Star Wars, that will NEVER change!!! But, sometimes it’s hard being a Star Wars fan, I can’t stand Star Wars fan’s! Well, some of them! 😉

  2. Bob Clark Says:

    I’ve more or less had the OT memorized since I was very young, but the only piece of “Star Wars” paraphanalia that I use with any frequency is a discrete Qui-Gon Jinn lapel pin from around the time of TPM’s release. I wish I had some more– a Darth Maul or young Obi-Wan– just for better color coordination. I honestly can’t think of anything from the OT that I’d really want to wear like that. I suppose that’s due to a slight hipster-generational gap, or something.

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