#ForceFridayIII was the start of the journey towards ‘The Rise Of Skywalker‘ (2019) at the beginning of September and, after all kinds of promotional campaigns, that film was finally released today (December 20th) and Tokyo Fox was of course there to see it in the first showing at 8:30 this morning! It’s such a relief to have finally seen it without any spoilers. Fear not as there’ll be none on here whatsoever.
No country seems to do promotion like the Japanese and there were many events and products tied in to the marketing of the ninth and final film in the Skywalker story. The Star Wars Identities interactive exhibition opened on August 8th (and runs until January 13th), a few stores had ‘#ForceFridayIII‘ midnight events on September 5th and then there’s the ongoing ‘Star Wars Bright Christmas‘ in Marunouchi. More on that later.
The first thing to mention is the advertising campaign for TEL (Tokyo Electron Limited) in the world’s busiest train station. From mid-December the Metro Promenade on the west side of Shinjuku Station was transformed into a Star Wars themed walkway. The millions of passengers who pass through this long underground passageway every day would have (if not engrossed in their mobile phones!) seen pillars covered with sequel characters like Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren as well as legacy heroes like Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2.
There were three life-size trooper figures outside the Yamada Denki LABI electronic shop on Dogenzaka in Shibuya a few weeks ago which then became two when I passed it again seven days later.
Four years ago the shelves were full of all kinds of Star Wars-related snacks in anticipation of the release of ‘The Force Awakens‘ (2015) but there was very little by way of confectionary this time. The only new product seemed to be Dars chocolate bars (in either gold or red lettering) with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren on them. Those dark side characters on the packaging was seemingly enough for Morinaga to double the price of the bars! It’s basically Japanese-pun based chocolate as Dars is how Darth is pronounced in Japanese as the ‘th’ sound doesn’t exist.
I was aware of various pop-up shops in Marunouchi as part of the Star Wars Bright Christmas extravaganza but didn’t realise that there others around the city. Whilst doing our Christmas shopping one Sunday, my wife and I came across a couple more in Ikebukuro. The first one was at the Parco department store (I presume the other Parco stores around Tokyo did likewise!) which had some exclusive bag, t-shirt and hoodie designs. It was much smaller than expected though and hardly fitting for the amount of advertising given over to it.
The other one was inside Sunshine City and was basically a shop split into two with the other half flogging Marvel merchandise. This was much better and had a lot more to offer than the Parco one.
Thanks to Uniqlo continuously churning out new designs, my collection of Star Wars t-shirts has rapidly increased in the last couple of years. I resisted temptation this time as they will inevitably be reduced in price in the coming months!
Nippon TV Tower’s Star Wars exhibition returned to Tokyo on the 2oth December and earlier this month I did a feature on the ‘Star Wars Bright Christmas‘ in Marunouchi. That covered the majority of the exhibits and tie-ins but there were a few things which I never got round to seeing on that visit. One such example were the large Lego-made Darth Vader and R2-D2 constructions built by members of the public on the weekend of 23-24 November. Since then they have been on show in the Shin Tokyo Building which was where I saw it along with one of the dome-shaped droid tents.
On Halloween I completed the Star Wars Metro stamp rally in one day……by bicyle and pretty soon after that there was another one to do as part of the the Star Wars Bright Christmas extravaganza. This one was a lot smaller in terms of the distance covered as all eight stamps (one more than the Metro one) could be attained from the Marunouchi area. There were two colour leaflets to complete; a red one in November and a blue one which was available from December.
Maruzen Marunouchi’s main book store had a large poster exhibition (45 posters) spread out over four floors but was not what I’d call essential viewing.
The booth where you can “experience the magic of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” in the Marunouchi Building turned out to be a few photographs on a wall amidst a wooden deck area where a few people were relaxing or drinking coffee surrounded by some plants and a water feature.
That’s on the fifth floor but it’s the ground floor where the real action is at. There’s a pop-up Star Wars shop, the Rise Crystal Cafe (selling themed dishes centred around pasta, taco rice, sandwiches, parfaits and milk drinks with vague relations to Kylo Ren, R2-D2 and BB-8) and the Christmas tree known as Rising Tree which is the centrepiece.
- Marunouchi Bright Christmas continues until December 25th.
Click here to read ‘Nippon TV Tower’s Star Wars Exhibition Returns To Tokyo On The Opening Day Of The New Film’
Click here to read ‘Star Wars Bright Christmas In Marunouchi’
Click here to read ‘Doing The Star Wars Tokyo Metro Stamp Rally In One Day……By Bicycle!’
Click here to read ‘#ForceFridayIII – The Journey Towards ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Has Begun’
Click here to read ‘The Star Wars Identities Interactive Exhibition Has Arrived In Tokyo’