I Hate You Donald…

My experiences with Star Wars spoilers…

Yes, it’s finally here!!!” I silently screamed to myself as I walked up to the B. Dalton Book Store at Thomas Mall. Thomas Mall

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.Empire Novelization

“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.phantom menace soundtrack  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.

Making Star Wars

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.

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7 thoughts on “I Hate You Donald…

  1. Having watched the 6 movies over and over again growing up, I knew the central plot points and character fates before I could spell “Kashyyyk” correctly. I really started getting emotionally invested in characters in The Clone Wars and therefor tried to avoid spoilers about the (numerous) character deaths like the plague.

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  2. I’ve accepted the fact that if there is a twist in Episode VII I will probably hear about it long before I get to see the movie. It wont lesson my enjoyment, however. For me each movie in The Saga has always been more of a visual and auditory spectacle, rather than a series of mysterious puzzle boxes. Besides, we already know that Luke sees dead people.

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    • That was my experience of ROTS. Even though I’d spoiled myself to decomposition – having read the novelization and played the game just to see the cutscenes – the film itself blew me away.

      I’ll still try to be as spoiler-free as possible in the lead up to Episode VII, if only because I don’t expect the visual and auditory spectacle to be as superlative as the likes of ROTS.

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      • It will be interesting to see if Episode VII can match the visual splendor of Episodes 1-3. They’ve set a very high bar. George Lucas has long been known as a superb visual storyteller and every meticulously composed frame in the movies he has directed bears this out. I’ve seen most of the films J.J. Abrams has made, but I would be hard-pressed to say that he has a singular style that distinguishes them as his own.

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  3. If “spoiler” means learning what happens in the “core medium” through its spinoffs, then I suppose I was absolutely spoiled for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, having read their storybooks and comic adaptations and novelizations years before managing to see them on video. It didn’t seem to have a negative impact on me.

    On the other hand, by the time the new movies were approaching I’d somehow formed the impression that to know too much too soon would be to be unimpressed (I actually think there was a joke about that in an issue of MAD magazine…) All the same, I did casually turn a TPM soundtrack around shortly before I’d heard the warnings not to do that. It got easier to stay away from reports about Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, but I must admit there a big part of that was because I was convinced (almost) all Star Wars-related discussion was a mere sink of negativity, only starting to crawl away from that in the last year before RotS by discovering the “prequel appreciators.” I can remember a surprise or two from each of those movies that contrasted to my impressions formed from their trailers. At the same time, though, I’ve come (back around?) to supposing that if “being surprised” is the only thing that matters, nobody would ever bother to see a movie more than once…

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  4. Pingback: Luke, I Am Your… Episode VII Spoilers… | One Saga - An Exploration of the Star Wars Saga

  5. Pingback: Luke, I Am Your… Episode VII Spoilers!!! | One Saga - Star Wars Spoilers

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