(BLOOMBERG) — Walt Disney Co. treated a few thousand “Star Wars” fans to a free concert on the San Diego waterfront Friday night, the latest step in a marketing campaign designed to entice the masses without alienating devotees of the science-fiction franchise.
The San Diego Symphony played a mix of “Star Wars” tunes after director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy courted attendees of Comic-Con International during an hour-long panel. They screened behind-the-scenes footage from the making of “Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens,” and shared the stage with cast members, including stars from the original films -- Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.
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The concert was a grand gesture, even for a four-day event that Hollywood uses to market many of its biggest projects. Though “Episode VII” seems certain to sell plenty of tickets, some films live and die by the reaction of influential bloggers and fans -- a fact not lost on the film’s creative team.