So as many have seen I’ve posted spoilery images on this site regaring Rogue One and Episode VIII. I do this for a myriad of reasons none of the least is wanting to make sure I’m not wasting money on the outrageous prices movie theater prices and concessions cost. Even though I am a can-in-coat pocket guy…. *coughs*.
But I like spoilers, other people like to be spoiler free. Good for them and their ability to keep hope of a better place and not be a cynical angry surly curmudgeon that I became.
Let me give some preface to the situation. I take you back to 1998 I was in my 2nd year of college and I decided that even though the new Prequel era spoilers were starting to leak I decided to wait. I mean I had watched the original trilogy so many times I wore out the VHS tapes and a VCR watching them over and over. We were in the infancy of the internet as we know it today without the massive social media aspects but still connected with specialty groups and news sites that would report on the coming of a new age of man as a new trilogy that would surpass the original trilogy was created for a new generation of movie goers and bring back the great epic saga we grew up with…
AAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAaha … *breathes* AHAHAHAHAAHAHahahahhaha a a ha… OK sorry I couldn’t type/say that without cracking up. We now have hindsight as to what happened back then and that’s also a big reason why I purposely seek out any spoiler, even the really off-the wall no-way-in-hell ones that random StarWars site#38 decided to through out there as click-bait.
See I was spoiler free for the Phantom Menace, I had even put off collecting the transitioned Power of the Force 2 toyline when it became Power of the Jedi and started telling backstories and information about The Phantom Menace on the card backs of the figures, THATS how devoted I was to being spoiler free. I decided I didn’t want to know anything. So just like the original films when I went into them so I would enjoy the surprises of the film! Boy was I sure surprised when I came out of the theater that afternoon in 1999.
I did go see Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in theaters as well but had long since given up the spoiler badge by then. You know what happened? I enjoyed those films… *gasps* I know. But Rez you’re saying you enjoyed some of prequels!? Yes puny mortal I did and do you know why? Because I had come to the realization that knowing what I’m getting into for a Star Wars movie made my viewings of them more enjoyable.
I had to really contemplate if I was going to stay a Star Wars fan after enduring the bad acting, bad dialogue, bad animation and all around crappy space-fantasy film that was Episode I that was now part of the Star Wars franchise.
I had been through bad parts of Star Wars before such the crappy effects in the Special Editions, the shows Droids/Ewoks the 2 Ewok movies, and I own them still. But The budgets for those films/editions and shows were so small in comparison to Ep1’s massive pile of dollars it had to work with I had a hard time wrapping my head around the debacle of it, how could something so bad not been called out during production and tell George “Hey maybe lets not have something so silly going on every 5 seconds”.
I had read bad EU novels (as well as many good ones) and still enjoyed my beloved Original Trilogy of films and toys/books etc. But if this was how the Star Wars would continue I was sad to say I was on the verge of selling it all off and giving up on the franchise.
The ONLY salvation for the link between Star Wars and my continued fandom came in the form of a fellow college student and good friend. He and I often talked of old stuff from the early – mid 80’s that we enjoyed, GiJoe, Star Wars, Thundercats, Voltron, Transformers etc. We always had a saying about it “We’re man-whores for nostalgia”. Truth be told a pair of young single geek guys in the mid 90’s would be man-whores for almost anything in a skirt since that was the situation for us back then. But bad pick up lines aside he told me something as just a helpful comment that I thought about so much it may answer a huge fandom question (at least for me). “You already grew up with that Star Wars so you knew the story each time you re-watched it and the nostalgia helped.” He was right of course there as some really bad parts of the OT (i’m looking at you boba fett into a sarlacc! and Ewok beating the empire!) But I had watched it so many times I knew it was coming and was ready for it when it hit. Bracing myself for the annoyances and missteps GL & Kurtz took in the OT.
I really thought about that comment a long time, had I known about the bad execution of bad dialogue or the slapstick kiddieness of Jar-Jar would I have hated it as much? After a few years (yes years) of contemplation I have to say no I wouldn’t. I would have expected the bad parts and braced myself to endure them much as I brace myself when I re-watch Ep 1. in recent times.
So after deciding to throttle my fandom after Episode I, I decided to go heavy into spoilers for Episode II. I went into the film with a much more fleshed out understanding of the stories plot and flow. To which I would sit back and be “surprised” by the stories execution and special effects of the film. I was much MUCH happier I did and left the theater with a much better feeling to the point where I felt it was superior to Episode I and helped me not give up totally on the Star Wars franchise. I did have to slow collecting and merchandise because of real life back then but I had Revenge of the Sith to learn about and get ready for.
By 2005 the internetwas much more connected then it was in 1999 and learning spoilers and information on Ep. III was more available. I learned every scrap I could and went into the theater knowing what to expect. I have to say as a personal preference knowing what I did prior to going into the last pair of prequels really let me compare them execution wise as they played out before me and while many will argue with me it’s a main reason why Episode II Attack of the Clones “slightly” outdoes Episode III Revenge of the Sith in terms of good/quality for me. For me knowing what was coming as really EVERYONE knew Anakin becomes Vader and Palpatine was Sidious so those weren’t really reveals we didn’t NEED to see per say but expected to. I felt Ep II was a better executed story then Ep. III in the realm of what I consider a good Star Wars film, I never expected the “love” story of Episode II to be very deep as Star Wars rarely plays the romantic card so seeing what we got as an awkward and dull pair of young people was about what I expected from a space fantasy about space Samurai and great armies readying for battle.
In contrast seeing that massive Separatists’ floating above Coruscant and the battle that ensued made me really hope that the execution of that initial sequence would be well done.
Visually it was superb, however the dialogue and flow of it was so bad that I really had no answer for what I was seeing done to my eyes. What should have been a massive space battle like the one at the second Death Star with quick dog fighting, fast and sharp dialogue by characters unable to get quirky as death was lurking in every laser shot or every … sighs… buzz droid. I hadn’t expected it to be that bad but ya know Anakin will turn to Vader soon and we’ll have a big saber fight then the 2nd half of the movie will have Vader tearing apart the jedi order that survives the knight of long knives (ala the god father) Order 66.
The execution of Revenge of the Sith was sub par in comparison to Attack of the Clones in what it needed to do in my opinions in such as show a believable turning of Anakin, a reason Padme is a memory of Leia’s, why Obi-Wan says he never remembered owning a droid before and the Jedi’s being taken out of power while Palpatine ascends to the pinnacle of the Empire. The execution of what needed to be done in that film lacked and as a new fan of spoilers I hadn’t expected too much in the way of surprises but when I left the theater from Revenge of the Sith I could say I was surprised so much wasn’t done to keep the aforementioned continuity nuggets. I suppose when it was said and done I may have slightly expected better from the only film of the prequels to show us Vader. Not to say I didn’t love parts of the movie, the Emperor and Yoda fight was awesome as was the Obiwan and Anakin/Vader battle but the Yoda one didn’t need to happen as he doesn’t need to try and show how tough he is as we know he goes into hiding and Palpatine survives and the Obiwan and Anakin was all spectacle and grandiose but a little too long and way… way to much worrying about younglings… you brought children into an order to fight with lightsabers it’s a wonder they didn’t all start killing each other… pfff glad those kiddos became Anakin’s favorite choice of target in the Jedi Temple.
So while I had read many spoilers for Revenge I was still a bit surprised by the overuse of certain things like contemplation that Anakin could become evil and the no less then four light saber battles in that movie. I’m glad I had the spoilers to moderate all that I endured and left the theater decidedly glad I had learned spoilers as that was going to be the last Star Wars Film (even though 9 were talked about in the 80’s) ever.
When Disney purchased the franchise and let it be known they were restarting the episodic movies again I was dubious to say the least. I had seen what GL decided to do with the prequels and was hoping that wasn’t what Disney liked about the franchise. The recent 3D release debacle earlier that year gave me some communal support that the prequels (at least not Phantom Menace) was that great of a film and the glut of toys left at Walmart (some to this very day) helps reinforce that thought pattern for me.
But it had been since 2005 since I watched a new Star Wars property (I passed on Clone Wars -both series- initially as I didn’t like the art styles) and wanted to see what path Disney would take with the franchise. That year I decided to pick up the entire original 5 seasons of Clone Wars and while OK some of it was still giving me that “could be better” vibe especially some of the early seasons but when Rebels came out it wasn’t much better artistically but Filoni seemed to have learned what to filter from George that would be taken by general audiences (and esp kids) better. Rebels showed myself and others that Star Wars could work with no legacy characters and without a grand-story of epic wars. Much as many of my favorite old EU books did (See Rogue Squadron comics/novels).
So my optimism was rising and like the decade previously I decided to start eating spoilers again for The Force Awakens. And much like the prequels I was glad I did. But not because of what you may think I’m alluding to. I actually loved The Force Awakens, I enjoyed it thoroughly and only had a minor gripe here or there. But dam it was awesome… and what makes it even more awesome is that going into it I had read and listened to so many spoilers from places like Making Star Wars! or Jedi Temple Archives that when I saw them executed on screen well it doubled my satisfaction for the film. Thanks MSW & JTI.
I didn’t run my own site or podcast back during the prequel era so my next and final thoughts on the professionalism of hope is something that may be totally off but it works for my own sanity.
Hoping for a good Star Wars movie but staying spoiler free is a naive way to think in my opinion speaking from personal experience (see above). Speaking from that experience I know what it means to have an nearly the entire fandom of a person crushed beyond recognition.
But as someone who talks Star Wars a lot with friends/coworkers/family and listens and participates in other Star Wars podcasts (especially the listening part) I feel its a disservice to those still having hope not to learn the spoilers to help reinforce what they could use to help solidify that hope for their positive Star Wars fandom. It could go the other way and you use your spoiler power to reinforce the negatives of Star Wars fandom but since I like to think I’m a glass half full guy I’ll go that way when thinking about spoilers.
To put it simply since I can’t write for 2 dams… if you’re a podcaster and have purposely been spoiler free… DONT go speculating on what you want to see/have happen in a new Star Wars movie and then tell people when it falls flat that viewers should still have hope/be positive.
By being spoiler free you have to accept people with get angry with you if you got their hopes up and the movie doesn’t deliver. I’ve had heated HEATED arguments with some fellow podcasters over being spoiler free or hard core into them and what kind of responsibility regarding their fandom and the fandoms of others they effected by their positions. About what kind of responsibility a podcaster/media member has for their own audience in regards to giving out over inflated expectations and unrealistic hopes for a new StarWars (or any franchises) media property.
YES its nice to be spoiler free and be a podcaster. Sitting behind the mic theorizing what’s going to happen with other fans over what will happen and then getting to see what happens in the movie for good and for bad and then pretending like there’s no responsibility on your part as a fan since it’s easy to hide behind the *spoiler free* piece of flare on your Flingers shirt!…. /rage breathing like Mel Gibson.
It also is a double edged sword of Bullshit for those of us that eat all the spoilers and have to endure a podcast/article of an hour or more of speculative theories and expectations that are so far off base of what’s really going to happen in the movie/media property that sitting to it is like reading bad fan-fiction in the yaoi section (or which ever section f fan fiction you prefer to not read). It takes steeled emotions to not rant and rave about what we know is going on in the movie to those behind the mics and other listeners.
I guess what I’m saying is that if your want to be spoiler free in the Star Wars community that’s fine but don’t expect others to be and don’t expect them to ever be nice and honor your wishes about it nor be polite if it comes crashing down on you or others. There’s tons of assholes in this world and I’m one of them. But even I know when to man-up and try not to get kids hopes up too high or hell even other 38 year old men and women’s.
If it exceeds them great! If it doesn’t then you haven’t set the bar too high and didn’t make Rez sit through YET ANOTHER FUCKING SPECULATION CAST about Rogue One or Ep VIII….*twitches*
Anywho lets try to respectful on both sides of Spoilerdom. It’s the least I can ask since all that junk about hope responsibility I mentioned above isn’t going to happen. Now that I’ve basically derailed my own post I’ll have to apologize with boobies