So awhile ago, I wrote about how I am doing everything I can to walk into the movie theater to see the new Star Wars without having seen any spoilers, from trailers to interviews to, really, anything. And here is what I am learning about trying to remain Star Wars spoiler free:
Avoiding spoilers for a major franchise like Star Wars is a daunting task.[divider] Trying to Remain Star Wars Spoiler Free: The Pitfalls [/divider]
The Trailer: Through the summer, I was smart enough to know what movies the trailer would be attached to and come late or have a movie buddy text me when the trailer was over. And for the most part, it felt like JJ Abrams and company were going to do one trailer, drop it like it was hot and then leave it be. So it wasn’t too bad.
That streak fell apart a week ago when I had to stick my fingers in my ears, hum to myself and close my eyes. I wasn’t expecting to see the trailer attached to the James Bond movie Spectre and I was pinned in. (Free, quick review of Spectre: Terrible. Don’t waste your time or money). I let my guard down and the trailer snuck up on me. I didn’t get any sense of it with my hacked together sensory overload technique but it was still close.
The Toy Drop: When the franchise had the toy release weekend, I basically had to sign off of social media. It is fascinating to see a franchise sell and move that much merchandise of characters and vehicles from a movie that no one has seen yet. Even non-science fiction people were talking about it and how and where to get the coolest toy. It was a challenging weekend but the spike died down and I haven’t had much trouble in that regard.
Star Wars is Everywhere: There are Campbell soup commercials that involve Star Wars. Just this morning, there was a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial during the Today Show. Thankfully, most of these are pretty innocuous and just make vague references to the Force and Jedis and there is zero chance of them spoiling the movie.
But you still have to keep your guard up. There is no try in avoiding the trailer. One either does or does not. And at this point, the movie could make exactly zero dollars and probably still turn a profit off merchandise and tie-ins. (And trust me, it will do major work at the box office; my prediction is that it will in 2 weeks make more money than any other movie that was released this year. Potentially could open with a billion dollar weekend, which sounds absurd until you factor in the season it is dropping and how people are buying tickets for 2-3 shows already.)
The Office Watercooler Conversations: I work in a somewhat nerdy office and I have to tell you, more than once I went into the kitchen for soda and spun on my heels to avoid overhearing the talk about some new video or interview or story guess. (And we are a pretty friendly spoiler-free group; we don’t talk about The Walking Dead until Tuesday at lunch so people can catch up and watch.) But when something iconic happens in the culture like Star Wars, you have to always be on your guard.
Other Media: There are some podcasts that you have to just turn off or, thankfully, they publish time stamps so you can skip ahead to avoid any talk. Especially comic book related ones, where the Star Wars comics are all the rage and may or may not be spoiling things.[divider] Trying to Remain Star Wars Spoiler Free: The Perseverance [/divider]
But I am being strong. I may have to get off social media from Thanksgiving until movie release day to make it but I think it will be worth it. I love that basically all I know is that there are new characters and the old characters are coming back and that is it. I recently re-watched parts of the prequels for a project and I was stunned at how bad they were but also how even bad Star Wars is good Star Wars. The scope and epic nature of the tale still brings out a sense of awe and reverence.
And to make the challenge even larger, I won’t even be seeing it until the Saturday morning of release week. I am looking forward to seeing the movie alongside my family, especially my nephew, who is about the same age I was when the original movie came out. The midichlorians are strong with that one. (And I hate myself for using such a hack line from one of the terrible prequels. At least I didn’t quote Jar Jar.)