9:15am PT by Graeme McMillan
There's No Escaping 'Star Wars' Spoilers at This Point
Until recently, life has been easy for those hoping to make it to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens unspoiled — all that had to be done was avoid online reports that yelled "spoilers" at the top of their textual lungs, and choose who you followed on social media carefully. As we near the release of the movie, however, the simple task of letting mysteries remain mysterious is becoming far less simple with every day.
There is, after all, such eagerness for new information about the movie that even the revelation of the first word of dialogue generates both speculation and a raft of headlines across the Internet. But more importantly than that, consider the source of that first word: a late night chat show (Jimmy Kimmel Live!, for those who didn't know).
Everyone, it seems, is jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon, with magazines including Vanity Fair and Wired — neither necessarily titles one would immediately think of when considering coverage of sci-fi movies — boasting exclusive coverage with attendant revelations of minor plot details and character information along the way, and Disney promoting unrelated shows on its TV networks with new clips and trailers from the movie.
It's no longer a case of simply not looking for information about the new Star Wars; now information about the Star Wars spoilers is coming at you from every direction. How can a fan stay unspoiled in the face of this barrage?
There are a number of potential responses. The most obvious — if, arguably, least possible — is to simply unplug from all media until the movie is released. Anticipation for the movie is only going to build as we creep ever-so-slowly toward its release, which almost guarantees an uptick in coverage for all things The Force Awakens over the next few weeks.
Who knows what unsuspecting spoilers might lie in wait hidden inside news reports about people camped out at their local theaters to be first to see the movie? In that the movie will be released in the U.K. a day before its U.S. release, unplugging from social media right before the movie comes out is probably a very good idea.
It should also be borne in mind that not all of the information being released constitutes a spoiler. In fact, much of it doesn't — trailers, posters, et al. are, if there's such a thing, canonical promotion, asking questions and introducing information that is intended by filmmakers (or, at least, producers) to be considered before the movie itself. In other words, it's fair game, in a way that casting rumors and plot revelations are not. (Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn's recent response to an incorrect Guardians 2 spoiler is worth considering at this point.)
And finally, there's the zen path of accepting that you're probably going to be spoiled for the movie to some level, and becoming OK with that. When you can't watch Scandal without getting a dose of John Boyega's Finn charm, it's clear that the universe is trying to tell you something.
If the trailers for The Force Awakens have demonstrated anything, it's that the lure of the movie is as much about the nostalgia for the original trilogy it evokes as any plot or mysteries it contains. Who's to say that it won't be just as entertaining even if you know all of its twists and turns ahead of time?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18. No matter how you get these, spoiled, unspoiled or not caring one way or the other, may the Force be with you no matter what. Oh, and Kylo Ren is a male clone of Princess Leia, out for revenge after the death of Darth Vader. OK, probably not, but I couldn't resist offering at least one fake spoiler, could I …?