Well, it’s that time of year again . . .
Despite being bombarded with porg memes and reading trivia on friends’ Facebook pages, it just hit me Wednesday that Star Wars episode VIII: The Last Jedi is only a week away. I honestly haven’t been paying a lot of attention to the release date.
I haven’t seen a Star Wars trailer since early May. And I regret seeing that one.
Let me explain.
I shared in a post last year how much I love my first experience of something new. And I regularly complain that trailers give away far too much of a movie’s plot. So last year, looking ahead to the next numbered installation of the Star Wars franchise, I thought, “I’m going to see this anyway. What would happen if it was a complete surprise?” Would I enjoy the story more or less? Be satisfied by the ending, or be disappointed by my own expectations?
How hard is it to avoid spoilers and media of all kinds leading up to The Last Jedi’s release? At first, I didn’t think it was possible. But around February or March of this year, before any trailer had come out, I thought, What could it hurt to try?
My rules were:
1. Hide from Star Wars trailers, clips, articles, spoilers, and basically as much media as I can, all the way up to the day I see it.
2. Don’t be a jerk. If something major gets spoiled, accept it and document how long the experiment lasted.
To my own shame, I was the first to break the streak. Thinking it would be rude to theater goers to walk out during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailers, and thinking I’d never make it through the rest of the year anyway, I sat through an early preview. And I really don’t remember much of it anymore. Just Luke’s ominous “It’s time for the Jedi to end” line.
I got smart when I went to see Thor: Ragnarok and brought along a pair of earbuds. That worked well, except that the trailer started pretty inconspicuously (for me, anyway, who didn’t know what to expect), and I got a few seconds of Snoke voiceover before realizing what was happening and cranking up Hamilton songs on my phone.
So there you have it. I know Luke wants the Jedi to end, Snoke and Kylo will be a big deal. I’ve also seen a lot of movie art, so I know that Rose is a new character. And porgs. It’s hard to miss those.
|Porg knows to get excited for The Last Jedi.|
But skipping, and wanting to skip, most of the spoilers has been pretty easy. Way easier than I thought. And I probably have a lot of wrong ideas in head my from hints dropped or old false leads I accidentally glimpsed, so it won’t really be a blind first impression.
The biggest downside, however, is that my mindset about the movie hasn’t changed much since a year ago. I’ve been worried Last Jedi will be far too much like The Empire Strikes Back, I’ve been afraid Snoke’s reveal will be lame or predictable, and I’ve been complaining that Luke will just be Kevin Flynn from Tron: Legacy.
|Rey is messing with Luke's zen thing.|
I found myself not very excited to see it—until I began to think about writing this post. Until I began looking up show times. Until I forgot I was going to marathon all eight movies sometime this fall (oops).
Next weekend, I’m sure to be as excited as anyone watching The Last Jedi. And I’m asking you, my readers, to help me out in my last few days of radio silence. I’ll be entering self-imposed social media blackout soon, but please, for the sake of science, just steer away from the conversation at all for now. We’ll have plenty of time to talk later.
So for now, have a merry Star Wars—I mean Christmas. See you in two weeks!
P.S. Check out my tweets about watching through the movies in preparation (no marathon, and I skipped episodes I and II) with the hashtag #starwarswatchthrough.