My experiences with Star Wars spoilers…
I had just come downstairs from the children’s department at Diamond’s. My mom was the weekend manager, and I’d always walk or bike the short distance from my house to stop by and see her, or go to lunch with her. My mom treated me to a burger; I asked her how her day was going, she asked how baseball practice was. It was just another lazy Saturday afternoon in April.
But this was turning out to be no ordinary day for me… As I walked closer and closer to B. Dalton I could see a large, blue cardboard display with a white and red logo which read: Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back. Inside the box were two books, one was the novelization of the movie, the other was a collected comic book adaptation of the film in paperback format.
I had enough money for one of the books so I quickly dashed upstairs to Diamond’s, frantically explained to my mom what I had just found, and begged her to let me borrow the money I needed to buy both books. I furiously ran back down the stairs to B. Dalton, grabbed both books and paid for them. I got on my bike and headed home to begin my escape to the Star Wars universe. I read all night.
“No,” Vader replied calmly. “I am your father.”
WHAT?!?!?! The words hit me like a ton of bricks. I was practically finished with Donald F. Glut’s excellent adaptation of the next film. It was a great book, and between production photos, and Glut’s vivid descriptions I could easily picture the film in my mind. But this was too much, there was no way this was true. This had to be some kind of lie by Vader. I quickly snatched up my paperback comic adaptation and leafed back to the end of the book.
“No, Luke. I am your father.”
That cinched it for me. This was the twist of all twists. I was stunned… I hate you Donald F. Glut, you ruined Empire for me… Well, not really, but more on that later…
Welcome to the world of Star Wars spoilers. Star Wars spoilers are everywhere on the web today as fan sites and entertainment sites scramble for the latest information about the production of Episode VII. It wasn’t quite as prevalent in the days before the internet had become commonplace, but it was still there.
I knew about the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi a full six months before the movie had come out when I picked up an issue of Cinefantastique that revealed a number of major plot points and had printed artists renditions of production sketches surreptitiously hijacked from the production. The comic adaptation of Jedi hit my comic shop a full three weeks before the movie’s release due to a shipping error. And for me personally, one of the worst offenses was picking up the soundtrack for Phantom Menace weeks before the film’s premiere only to look on the back and see Track 15: Qui-Gon’s Noble End. Gee I wonder what that means?
Ultimately there seem to be three categories of Star Wars fans when it come to spoilers:
1) No spoilers allowed fans: Honestly in this day of portable, instantaneous information access I don’t know how they do it. You’re simply bound to hear something, somewhere.
2) Give me production information, but no plot points: This is where I think most fans would categorize themselves. They like looking at leaked set photos, or productions sketches, but they don’t want to know major plot points, and they don’t want twists in the story revealed.
3) Give me everything: This is where I fall. I want to know it all. I love talking to people about themes, the plot, production designs, everything. It’s kind of cool having access to information before the movie unfolds. For example, before Empire I knew I was one of the few who had read the book, and I was now in an exclusive club, The Keeper of Star Wars Secrets. I was horrible, I would tease my friends and tell them I knew something big that happened at the end of Empire. They would beg me to tell them and I’d just say, “Wait until the movie.”
I think one of the reasons spoilers don’t bother me is my background in film studies and my passion for the movie making process. Things change in the middle of a production, and although I may hear a rumor about a plot point, I know that may get dropped in editing, or modified on the set. For example, one of the subplots in The Empire Strikes Back has to do with numerous Wampa snow creatures attacking the Rebel base on Hoth. The novelization portrays these events, as does the comic adaptation, but when the film came out we were left with only one Wampa beast; the one who captured Luke, and there’s a reason why…. If you have the Star Wars Complete Saga Blu-ray set go to the Original Trilogy bonus disc and look at the Deleted Scenes. The Wampa scenes are there in a very rough state, and it becomes evident why the sequences were dropped; the Wampa suit was just not convincing on screen.
So I love spoilers, give me more! If you like Star Wars spoilers, and really solid Star Wars analysis and discussion I’d recommend you head on over to Making Star Wars. Site owner, Jason Ward, and his crew do a really solid job examining the latest spoilers surrounding Episode VII, and future Disney plans for the Saga.
May the Force Be With You
PS: Just a quick not for my readers. I probably won’t be doing a lot of spoiler discussion on the site; that’s really not the focus of my blog. But if I do decided to take on an issue I will put those posts on a separate page to honor the wishes of those who want to remain spoiler free, or relatively spoiler free for upcoming releases.