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Darin Smith, GrafixGnu, Fig and I were sitting on a prequel panel a few weeks ago at the Dallas Sci-Fi Expo. It was basically a Q&A session on the prequels, but we were determined to avoid discussing what we thought were "spoilers". You know, things that will ruin the movie for you. At one point I said, "And one of the really cool scenes in the film will be a pod race..."

At that point, a guy on the front row raised his hand and said, "Could you hold on a second?"

I said, "Yes, what's up."

He said, "I don't want to hear any more. I don't want to ruin the movie. Can you stop talking till I leave?" Errr...then what was he doing there? And why didn't he just get up without disturbing the group?

I replied, "Well, the pod race is not a big secret. You're going to know about it before the film comes out."

He said, "I don't care, I don't want to know anything about the movie."

"But you're going to see toys and a video game of it before it comes out. It will probably be in the trailers, too."

"I don't want to know about it." And then he walked out while the rest of the entire group stayed.

Why do I bring this up? Well, it would seem that "spoilers" are in the eye of the beholder. We often come across people who say, "I won't go on the websites because there are too many spoilers." Or there are people who are determined to keep their heads in the sand to avoid any talk of the prequels at all. However, there are some things you aren't going to be able to avoid whether you like it or not. And surprisingly, many of the things that were "big spoilers" a couple of months ago are being shown to you by Lucasfilm today.

Here's a few examples. Look at the Galoob sneak preview toy website. It declares "The small planet of Naboo has been invaded! A force of battle droids has been sent to take over the queen's palace. Captain Panaka and the queen's foot soldiers race in their sleek Gian speeder to resist the onslaught."

Well great jumpin' horny toads! That's half the plot to the film right there! And remember over the last few months? Some of our biggest posts were drawings of the footsoldiers, the name of Captain Panaka, details about battledroids, and a description of the Gian Speeder. Sure, it was all early, but it was all going to be public knowledge anyway. I would say the same goes for 90% of the stuff we post.

Some people are probably saying, "Ah, but they wouldn't have released that if you hadn't leaked it." Au contraire! Look carefully at the timing of everything. Right when this toy has come out, we also have Battledroid toys on the shelves, Captain Panaka and the battledroids in the Star Wars Insider, and Captain Panaka and Battledroid and Naboo details in the Behind the Magic CD. Lucasfilm has been planning what they'll release and when for months. Websites have very little, if anything to do with that at all.

And if you think about it, only a fraction of Star Wars fans even know about the stuff posted on the internet. In the grand scheme of things, online fans are a minority. So what is posted online isn't exactly going to make a difference. In fact, half the stuff we post is buried and forgotten after a week's time.

So back to the topic at hand. What's a spoiler and what's not? Well, the Insider and the Official Website will likely have TONS more to reveal. The trailer will also show a LOT of the movie. Many people were upset by Harry posting shots of Jar Jar, but I'm sure you'll see him soon. And it won't be hard to piece together a lot of the film simply by looking at the photos released. I think you'll be surprised to look back in a couple of months and see that things we thought were big now, like a sketch of Watto, were really not that big of a deal.

And if Lucas is planning to reveal as much of the film in the trailer as we think he is, then there's a heck of a lot that will still surprise and amaze you on opening day.

- Scott Chitwood


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