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Just how marketable is the Star Wars brand?

Just imagine the good fortune of a business enterprise having all the legal rights attendant with the unique and iconic Star Wars brand. Hundreds of millions – perhaps billions – of people globally are intimately acquainted with what a recent Los Angeles Times article denotes the “space opera franchise that George Lucas created 42 years ago.”

That franchise has been, well, popular. The initial Star Wars film that first aired in theaters back in 1977 proved to be such a blockbuster that following it up with additional efforts was an absolute no-brainer. A whopping nine more films have followed in its wake. And as the Times piece notes, the movies have been smartly augmented by “spinoffs, animated series, television specials, comics, books, video games, and a booming market for merchandise and collectibles.”

That last-mentioned entry – that is, the merchandising – is what clearly enthralls Disney principals the most. Disney now owns the Star Wars name and brand, and company executives clearly see out-of-this-world profits linked with licensing and merchandising opportunities.

Consider Star Wars Celebration. That described “uniquely immersive experience” is a periodically held convention for legions of crazed fans. First convened in Denver back in 1999, this year’s convention held in Chicago hosted about 65,000 people from around the world. They came to breathe in everything related to the entertainment spectacle, interacting while doing so with vendors selling “wall-to-wall Star Wars merch.”

Of course, Disney has made sure to duly license those vendors, collecting staggering amounts of money for doing so. And the company has astutely grown the Empire via additional films and characters that provide more merchandising opportunities.

“May the Force be with you” is a famous phrase uttered in a Star Wars film.

It is now certainly with Disney.

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