I will admit that I'm not immune to the lure of all these ads either. The other day I actually bought a pair of pens in my local bookshop that look like lightsabers. Hey, I needed some new pens anyway, so why not go for something funky? Of course the joke was on me - while they looked amusing, they barely worked as pens even fresh out of the packaging. Disney will literally license to anyone, even someone who makes barely functioning pens. But then I should have already known that, considering all the Frozen kitchen towels I keep seeing around...
Wikipedia says that using a small version of a film poster while talking about said film can be classified as fair use. Please don't sue me, Disney! (The larger version originally comes from here.)
Anyway, I digress. The point is that a rising tide lifts all the boats, and with all this merchandise everywhere you don't really have to be a super-fan to maybe go: "Hm, Star Wars. I remember liking that at one point." And if you're a gamer, you might very well end up remembering that game called Star Wars: The Old Republic. I'm already seeing some of it around the blogosphere. Belghast has been writing about getting back into the game because of the general Star Wars feeling in the air, and other multi-MMO-bloggers like Syp or Telwyn have found themselves returning to SWTOR in anticipation of the new expansion.
I'm thinking that this should result in a healthy boost for the game's population, even without lots of marketing for SWTOR in particular, simply because Star Wars fans will be open to anything that gives them more of their favourite IP while they wait for the next film. I would really like it if EA was able to announce some really big milestone like "back to two million active players a month" as a result of this, just because they've been so cagey when it comes to talking about the game ever since its initial flop and I want to see it do well.
Of course the question is: Even if there's a spike of new and returning players caused by general Star Wars hype - how long will it last? I suppose waiting a month for the next story update might not seem so bad when you have to wait another one and a half years for Episode VIII, but not everyone might find themselves as enamoured with the universe of the Old Republic as they are with the events in the films.
Still, I'm really hoping that this will pull a whole bunch of new Star Wars fans in who may not even have tried the game before. I can't wait for people to say stuff like: "That Revan guy is a total Kylo Ren rip-off!"