Tonight is the night Star Wars fans have been waiting for for three decades (conveniently overlooking the Jar Jar Binks-filled embarrassment that is the prequel trilogy): Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TFA) hits theaters!
Unfortunately, not all Star Wars fans will be able to get tickets to tonight’s premiere. Please, if you’re one of the lucky ones, do your friends and the internet a solid: don’t post spoilers!
Disney has been keeping tight wraps on what, exactly, happens in TFA, and for good reason. What’s known so far — via trailers and carefully-controlled press events — is pretty juicy, but yet doesn’t give away any major plot points. The protagonist seems to be a woman; a Stormtrooper played by a black actor plays a significant role; that mean guy from Girls plays the villain; at least one character yields a light saber with a hilt; and comic relief is provided by an adorable, spherical robot known as BB-8.
Beyond that, Disney has given fans next to nothing. Even actors from the movie, making the late-night talk show rounds promoting the film (as if it needs any promotion), have made it very clear to their hosts what they’re allowed to say – which isn’t much.
All that secrecy will come to an end tonight, when the general public is finally allowed into advance showings. Most likely, by the time you go to bed tonight, at least one of your friends will have posted a major spoiler on Facebook or Twitter.
Please, don’t be that guy.
Back in 2005, none other than film critic Roger Ebert took a moral stance on revealing spoilers (spoiler alert: he was against it). In a Chicago Sun-Times report entitled “Critics Have No Right To Play Spoiler,” Ebert took exception to movie critics who gave away huge spoilers in their reviews.
“The characters in movies do not always do what we would do. Sometimes they make choices that offend us. That is their right. It is our right to disagree with them. It is not our right, however, to destroy for others the experience of being as surprised by those choices as we were.”
These days, everyone’s a critic, and social media – as well as message boards, blog posts, podcasts – spoilers are all but impossible to avoid.
Of course, spoilers are nothing new. Back in 1983, a certain Inquisitr writer, then a 13-year-old Star Wars fan on the playground at middle school, had a major plot point for Return of the Jedi ruined for him on the schoolyard thanks to other lucky kids, whose parents weren’t making them wait until their grades got better (thanks, Mom), and who would not stop talking about what happened to Han Solo.
In a column for the Riverhead News-Review, writer Paul Squire writes about that childlike joy he felt on seeing the original Star Wars movie for the first time, back when he, too, was a kid.
“I want that feeling again. So when the first “Star Wars” screenings kick off tonight, I’ll be going to the movies for the first time since I was a kid completely unsure of what I’m going to see. Everything on that screen will be brand new.”
Remember this when you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Your friends on social media have different lives than you. Maybe their work schedules, commitments to their kids, or simply choosing to wait for a time that’s more convenient for them, means that you’ll see TFA before them. Don’t rob your friends of the joy of seeing The Force Awakens for the very first time before they’ve even set foot in the theater.
Please, don’t post spoilers.
[Image via Shutterstock/Aaron Lim]