Let's take a step back for a moment from the George Lucas hate-a-thon and take a look at Star Wars, the brand, for a moment. Star Wars is bigger than you or I can imagine. It's so big that it has created other universes outside of the original movies and books. One of the first huge, huge hits on YouTube was that Star Wars kid swinging a pole around in his garage, and it had the most minute connection to Star Wars. Some of Family Guy's highest rated episodes are those Star Wars parodies. And recently, a channel called Belated Media is on their way to their first viral hit using Star Wars as fodder.
Star Wars Leveraging...If It Makes Sense To Your Channel, It Reaps Rewards
Belated Media is a movie review/movie vlog site with videos that have view counts in the thousands. In the latest video, he's talking about how Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace got it wrong and how he would improve it, and the view counts are the likes of which Belated Media has never seen.
Here is the video, and it does have strong language:
Where Star Wars is getting leveraged a lot these days is in complaining about the prequel trilogy. We've seen the hilarious videos from Red Letter Media blowing those movies up in such detail, we realized we weren't hating those movies enough. For those of you who don't know, this is part 1 of 7 dissecting The Phantom Menace, and he would go on to do the other two as well (warning: very strong language):
Many of us who grew up with the original trilogy had been waiting for a new Star Wars for 16 years when The Phantom Menace arrived. We liked the original trilogy so much that we even gave The Phantom Menace a pass the first time we watched it. We thought the hype had driven our expectations into an unreasonable sphere. Stepping back, years after the new trilogy completed, we feel like we've been hosed. And there's nothing we can do about it without getting sued.
But we can complain...and Red Letter Media's combined views for The Phantom Menace review series went over 10 million. RLM created a character with that series that honestly, he should really use more. His reviews are insightful and hilarious...but part of the problem comes from the idea I get that he watches these movies a ton before reviewing them and then it takes a long time to produce each episode. It probably takes a lot out of that guy watching a horrible movie and then coming up with something interesting to say about them.
But while we will never tire of wondering what could have been with the new Star Wars movies, the brand keeps paying off in great ways. We all know the Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial from last year, and the oddball "sequel" this year. How about "Cello Wars" from The Piano Guys, which is way too entertaining for it's own good and hit over 4 million views last December:
Improv Anywhere scored a huge hit, over 7 million views, with their "Star Wars Subway Car" video in 2010:
The only one I see that beats that one on their channel is the "No Pants Subway" video, which proves that the only thing that beats Star Wars on YouTube is sex.
And this guy "didn't even make this" Lego Star Wars video and it got 27 million views:
And perhaps the new trilogy has brought up so many great feelings about the old trilogy, you call on thousands of Internet users to re-create 15 seconds of the movie, however you want, and create a completely fan-produced remake of the original Star Wars, which released last month and collected 2 million views so far, which for a 2 hour video on YouTube is amazing:
In the time that it took me to write about Belated Media's review, the view count doubled. The Force is still with Star Wars, and even three bad movies didn't sway its power.