With a publicity move that’s equal parts chaos and cunning, Burger King has revealed that it truly draws its power from the dark side of the Force. In Germany, the fast-food chain has introduced a promotion that involves “spoiling” the upcoming and much-anticipated film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in exchange for free Whoppers.
The promotion goes like this: Burger King has launched a voice-activated coupon that purports to contain spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker, and if you record yourself reading these spoilers (warning: clicking that link will take you to an alleged screenshot of one of the spoilers) out loud, you can get a free Whopper. Burger King has also released a commercial featuring the alleged spoilers embedded in the restaurant’s menu and showing customers freaking out over said spoilers:
According to vigilant, German-speaking Star Wars fans, some of the spoilers in the promotion appear to be variations on alleged leaks of the movie’s plot details that were published in September by a man named Jason Ward. Ward runs the Stars Wars superfan site Making Star Wars; a recent report from the site claiming it had obtained an original screenplay overseen by ex-Rise of Skywalker director Colin Trevorrow was definitively debunked by Trevorrow himself on December 5.
To be clear, there’s absolutely no proof the so-called spoilers in Burger King’s ad are accurate.
It certainly doesn’t seem within the realm of possibility that Disney and Lucasfilm would ever give the fast-food chain their approval to spoil the biggest movie of the year in a German Burger King commercial and app. Nor does it seem like Burger King would run an explicitly Star Wars-centric marketing campaign without considering how it might anger Disney, an extremely powerful company.
But according to Ad Age, Burger King seems to be getting away with the campaign because the words “Star Wars” aren’t actually uttered in the commercial. It’s simply aping the franchise’s iconic yellow typography and referring to a “space saga” movie.
Additionally, trying to access the app from the US seems a bit impossible at the moment, at least for this writer (an American iPhone user) as the app was not available in the App Store. But the ad does appear to be legitimately commissioned by Burger King and was created by the Hamburg-based ad agency Grabarz & Partner. It’s also worth noting that Burger King famously ran a 2016 stunt promotion in a similar vein that promised a free Whopper to anyone who de-friended 10 people on Facebook.
Depending on where you stand in the ongoing debate around spoiler culture, how invested you are in The Rise of Skywalker, and whether you can recognize the cleverness behind Burger King’s ad campaign no matter how dastardly it may be, this is either a completely genius idea or something from the pits of hell.
For those who don’t want to even risk learning spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker, it might be best to avoid Whopper-loving friends until the movie is released on December 20. In the meantime, Shake Shack and McDonald’s seem to be safe options, at least for now.
Vox has reached out to both Burger King and Disney for comment and will update this story if we hear back.