After the recent article about Star Wars trending on Google, I thought it might be fun to take a closer look at how various Star Wars characters are trending on Google, both old and new. The results may make some people happy, others not so much, some of the results are certainly surprising! Some spoilers: Russia loves Kylo Ren! Japan loves droids! And Jar Jar Binks is trending more on Google than Finn, Poe or Rose, even in 2019. How is any of that possible? Click through for a few comparisons between Star Wars Characters!
Disclaimer: I used Google in Germany, so some character names will be in German, but I looked for worldwide Google Trends. To make things comparable and fair I always selected the “Star Wars Character” or “Ficticious Character” option, this will aggregate several search terms, so searching for Last Jedi Rose, Star Wars Rose or Rose Tico etc will all count towards the character of Rose Tico. And remember, trending on Google can have many reasons, positive buzz, negative buzz, or maybe the actor is in the news and his or her character gets mentioned along the way.
With that out of the way let’s head right into some comparisons!
The first thing I wanted to know is how Jar-Jar Binks compares to the ST characters Poe, Finn, Rose and Captain Phasma. I didn’t really know what to expect here, the sequel trilogy characters are much more recent, the teaser of Episode 9 was released a short while ago… so how do they fare against Jar-Jar?
Please also look at the “Average” trend on Google (Labeled as “Durchschnitt” left of the curves). I didn’t really expect this but Jar-Jar has been trending a lot more than any of the sequel characters. And even Captain Phasma has been trending more on Google than Poe, Finn or Rose.
Google also let’s you see how things trend in different regions and countries, you get a nice map of the world which visualizes where something is trending:
Jar-Jar all the way… Rose Tico trended the most in South Korea. Poe Dameron is trending the most in Spain, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, Captain Phasma is trending the most in South East Asia, but Jar Jar is trending more than any of them in each and every single country.
The countries in grey have too little data. The darker the shade, the stronger the trend.
One might have thought that the supporting sequel trilogy characters would trend more than a supporting prequel trilolgy character who made his last appearance in a movie in 2005. Apparently not.
Next up the droids, R2, 3PO and BB-8. This could be more competitive perhaps?
And yes, BB-8, thanks to the spikes around TFA and TLJ, is almost trending as much as R2-D2 over the course of the past 5 years. But overall R2 is trending a bit more on Google than BB-8. Only TFA saw BB-8 trend much more than R2. Poor C-3PO is in third place here.
But the map is really interesting this time. BB-8 trends more in North America, the UK, India, South East Asia and Brazil. But R2 trends more in much of continental Europe, South America, Japan, Australia and Russia.
I wanted to know if Rose Tico and Finn trend more than some other much lesser Star Wars characters, at least when it comes to screen time in movies. So I compared them with a host of different characters. But this time I only looked at the past 12 months, to see how all of these characters trend without support of movies, other than the teaser for The Rise of Skywalker!
I was really surprised to see that Count Dooku is the clear winner here. Finn is trending ever so slightly more than Asajj Ventress and Rose barely manages to trend more than Mon Mothma, a character who maybe has 10 minutes of screentime in the entire Star Wars saga.
It’s interesting to see that Finn is trending the most in some African countries and India of all places, which may have something to do with the race of the actor. Once more Rose trended the most in South Korea. And pretty much nowhere else.
Interestingly nothing really changes when I look back all of 5 years instead of just 12 months. Count Dooku is still the winner, but Finn is trending a lot more than Asajj Ventress now due to the publicity of the movies. Actor Christopher Lee passed away which resulted in a huge spike for Dooku a few years back, hence, why he is trending more despite lack of any movies whatsoever. But without the effect of recent movies Dooku still wins, which is a surprise to me.
Next up I looked at some Rogue One characters, namely the two heroes and their droid. Rose is once more competing as well and to see how lesser known Marvel characters compare I also included Ant-Man (Scott Lang) here!
Ant-Man trends more than either Rogue One characters on Google. Jyn trended a lot more than Cassian and Rose cannot even compete with K-2SO here.
Now this is interesting… either Ant-Man movie made a lot less money than Rogue One, which made more than $1 billion worldwide. But Ant-Man is trending more in all of South America, much of Asia (Google doesn’t have enough traffic in China, local search giants dominate the scene there), whereas Jyn trended more (but barely so) in North America, much of Europe and Russia.
Japan is of note here, it’s the only country in which K-2SO trended more than any other character. Japan is very much into robotics, they just love robots, that may be one factor here.
When I look back just 12 months instead of 5 years, then Ant-Man holds his level, but Cassian, K-2SO and Rose are virtually flatlining and Jyn Erso is barely better here, as with so many Star Wars characters they fade a lot after movies have left theaters.
Next up some more prequel characters, I once more looked at the past 12 months, to see how all the characters trend without support of a big movie (other than the teaser for TROS):
I find it very interesting that Obi-Wan Kenobi manages to trend almost as much as Rey. Obi Wan’s last appearance in a movie was in 2005, since then he’s only been seen in animated form, whereas Rey is the leading lady of the current Star Wars Saga. And while Rey IS trending more, she doesn’t really trend THAT much more. It seems fans worldwide are still very much interested in Obi-Wan. Maybe that should give Lucasfilm a hint!
And even though I fear John Boyega may fall into deep depression should he ever read this article, his character is trending less than either Mace or Qui-Gon. Despite the teaser for the upcoming movie!
Interesting enough not that much changes when you look back 5 years. Rey trends more than Obi-Wan, but not as much more as one might have guessed, the other three characters are close to 0 now, because of the huge spike for Rey at the time TFA was released. Obi Wan has a much higher peak here than Finn, even though he was not really in the movie at all, other than as a voice.
And the map… it’s fascinating to see that Rey only wins in most of the legacy/core Star Wars markets, with almost all of South America, Russia, Australia and Japan favoring Obi-Wan. Incidentally, with the exception of Australia and Japan, these are also the countries in which the sequel trilogy struggles to make an impression.
And now a look at some Rebels characters, once more with Rose Tico added to the mix to see if she can at least trend more than the animated Rebels characters:
Ahsoka is dominating this comparison, no contest, not even close. Rose is trending a little bit more than Hera, but less so than Kanan and Ezra. It’s interesting that a character without any live action appearances manages to trend so much more than a major character in a saga movie. Even when I add Finn to the mix he cannot compete with Ahsoka, his TFA spike elevates him above Ahsoka for a short while, but come TLJ his spike only reaches Ahsoka’s base level. Which I find absolutely incredible. Finn is a major sequel trilogy character. When I look back only 12 months then Rose trends a bit more than both Hera and Ezra, but Ahsoka more or less maintains her level.
Maybe Lucasfilm should give Ahsoka her own movie.
Then I looked at the trends for the past 12 months for R2, Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn and Padme:
Rey is trending the most here, Kylo is a somewhat distant second, R2 is close at his heels and Finn is almost flatlining here, even Padme, a character we last saw in 2005 and after that only in animation, is trending a lot more than Finn. And remember, Finn is trending more than Poe or Rose.
In other words, all of the major supporting characters of the sequel trilogy, anyone other than Rey and Kylo, trend less than many legacy characters who haven’t had a new live action movie in almost 14 years, they even lose out to some animated characters from shows that are no longer on the air.
Russia loves Kylo, at least he was trending the most there, and in Brazil and Peru. Japan loves robots, so R2 is trending the most there, plus in Mexico and Argentina. Rey wins in most traditional legacy markets for Star Wars.
What about Snoke and Palpatine? I added Boba Fett to the mix, and Finn, to see how he compares. To gain some perspective I also added Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter franchise:
And this is what you get… Hermione (Hermine in German) is always trending, the last movie was years ago, but Hermione has not faded, her trend line is almost constant for the past 5 years. The red line is Snoke, Google won’t let me display orginal character names, Google insists on using German names. When you look at the average then Hermione is lightyears ahead of anyone else.
In contrast all Star Wars characters see these spikes, because of the new movies this is to be expected. But what is interesting is that Hermione’s trend line is almost always far above any of the other characters. I also added Rey (and removed Finn), to see how Rey compares… and Hermione easily beats even Rey, a character with major movie support, whereas Hermione is featured in a theater play but no new movie with her has been released since 2011!
Even with the teaser for TROS (the small peak towards the end of the blue line) Hermione is trending more than Rey in all of 2019.
Oh, and yes, Boba Fett and the Emperor both trend more than Snoke. Snoke has these huge spikes for both movies, but the other two characters can sustain somewhat more of an overall trend, whereas Snoke seems to be mostly forgotten about between movies. And yes, Finn is flatlining here, he barely registers. Sorry, John Boyega!
And then I wanted to look at the trends for some of the actors:
This is for the past 5 years, and even though Daisy had this huge spike around the release of TFA, overall Mark is about on the same level as her, with Adam Driver in 3rd place, Oscar a more distant fourth and John Boyaga almost non existent here.
Things change a bit when you look at just the past 12 months, then Adam Driver has been trending somewhat more than Mark Hamill, Mark Hamill is trending a lot more than Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac is close at her heels and John Boyega is no one that many people ever search for on Google, he’s dead last.
I also looked at how Emma Watson (who portrayed Hermione, but also had a huge worlwide blockbuster hit with Beauty and the Beast) compares, for this I removed John Boyega. And Emma is trending SO much more worldwide, it’s no contest. Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill and Adam Driver only trended more than Emma for a short period when TFA and TLF were released.
Russia not only loves Kylo Ren, they also love Adam Driver. What is with the Russians and Kylo? It’s interesting to see the split between the Americas and the rest of the world. Mark Hamill is trending the most in North and South America, everyone else is more interested in Daisy Ridley, but only barely so, the shading for her is very pale, which means Mark is close at her heels.
And the final graphic… I compared The Last Jedi and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Both movies were released in 2017. But The Last Jedi made a lot more money than GOTG2:
So after all these graphs and charts, what can we say?
The supporting sequel characters, sometimes with almost as much screentime as the main stars, have a very hard time trending on Google. They lose out to even much more minor characters from the Lucas era, sometimes even to animated characters. I don’t think Disney can be happy about that. It seems people fail to connect to Poe, Finn and Rose. A throaway character like Captain Phasma trends more on Google than Poe, Finn or Rose. And Finn is trending ever so slightly more than Poe even, with Rose barely registering when comparing her with even minor characters. But all of them are reduced to almost “0” trending on Google when you add other characters. Even minor Marvel characters like Ant-Man trend a lot more. And the Ant-Man movies made much less money than any of the sequels.
I also compared a few other characters… Lando Calrissian beats all of the new sequel trilogy characters, except for Kylo and Rey, Boba too, so does Darth Maul. I don’t think Disney can be very happy about that.
It remains to be seen how much the sequel trilogy characters will still be on people’s minds in years to come. It may very well be that the original and prequel trilogy characters will still trend a lot more than most, or maybe even all sequel trilogy characters. But most Star Wars characters pale on Google trends when you compare them to someone like Hermione Granger.
Also, when you look at trends for the past 12 months, instead of 5 years, you see how little to no extra buzz there is for the Star Wars characters on Google, despite Star Wars Celebration and the new teaser for The Rise of Skywalker.
Disney has to work a lot on their marketing efforts. But even so, all things indicate that all of the Star Wars characters will merely see a short spike in popularity on Google, only to fade away quickly again a short time later, especially when compared with other recent pop culture characters.
So, what do you think? Any suprises here for you? How do you feel about the very lackluster Google trends for most new Star Wars characters?
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