Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Follow-Up

Currently on its fourth week at the Box Office, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is estimated to gross over $470m in domestic ticket sales alone. Needless to say, the latest installment of the beloved Star Wars franchise is a massive hit amongst movie goers.

Last month, the Source3 data team looked at how the excitement around this release might spread the use of the iconic Star Wars brand and some insights into how that might develop in marketplaces. Based on extensive market research and our knowledge of the Star Wars franchise, we sought to predict how fans and user-generated content (UGC) creators would react to the Rogue One characters. The results of Source3 Predicts: A Rogue One Analysis are in, and here at Source3 we’re happy to report, a trend has been detected.

What are the results?


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Jyn Erso: The Good

As the film’s protagonist, it comes as no surprise that prior to release Jyn Erso is the most popular character amongst content creators. According to the content we found online, Jyn Erso has been the obvious fan-favorite since the release of the second official trailer, which revealed some major plot points for our rebellious heroine. Since the film’s release in mid-December, Jyn Erso procured the newest user-generated content, with an increase in uploads of (62.5)% during the Christmas holidays. As of January 2017, Jyn Erso-related user-generated content is still the most popular amongst creators and continues to grow alongside the success and enthusiasm that the movie has generated.


K-2SO and Cassian Andor: The Buddies

 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s dynamic duo, Cassian Andor and K-2SO are the second and third most popular characters amongst content creators. Unlike Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor and his trusted sidekick, K-2SO’s storylines were not clearly depicted in the official trailers. It is our belief, that as a result neither character had as much success with user-generated content creators until the film’s release.

However, since the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, K-2SO’s popularity increased dramatically. In fact, K-2SO is now the 2nd most popular character amongst UGC creators. This came as a bit of a surprise to the Source3 team because K-2SO, a former Imperial security droid, is neither compliant or cute like his predecessors, R2-D2 and BB-8. As of late-December, K-2SO was steadily encroaching upon Jyn Erso for the most popular character on UGC marketplaces. Based on the data we collected, K-2SO-related uploads increased roughly (160)% during the Christmas holidays. Perhaps his personification and quippy one-liners won over moviegoers and content creators alike.


The Takeaways

Based on the user-generated content we found online, we have a few key takeaways for brands and content creators.


  • Early bird gets the worm. Based on our research, the sooner a creator can re-interpret main characters, the better. While this does involve some predictive insight on behalf of creators, the likelihood of a prosperous return on investment is significantly higher.


  • Trailers set the tone. User-generated content creators can only re-interpret what the brand publishes. As a result, for creators that want to beat the rush, the only source of official material comes from the brand. As such, the brands have the majority of control over what content is being re-interpreted and sold on online marketplaces.


  • People love pairs. As we predicted, “the buddies” performed well both onscreen and for online marketplaces. Cassian Andor and K-2SO are increasing in popularity amongst content creators. Odds are, this trend will only increase as the film continues its strong performance at the box office.


  • Are protagonists the new wildcard? Based on our Star Wars knowledge, the most popular characters and artifacts are Darth Vader, R2-D2, and Stormtroopers. It seems as though regardless of their hero or heroine status, the protagonists do not perform as well as their droids, super villains, and non-human partners.

Interested in learning more about how brands are being reinterpreted by fans? Or how your branded content might stack up against competitors? Sign up for our newsletter to get more information and future reports from our data team!

(K-2SO artwork courtesy of Daisy May Edwards)

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