This essay is from Charles G. Pavlides
Published on May 10, 2002
Too Many Spoilers
(Please note: I'm sure there are many who disagree with me, so I'll keep this essay short and to the point.)
The scene from The Empire Strikes Back, in which Vader tells Luke that he is his father, is probably one of the greatest and most famous movie scenes in history. The reasons why this scene is so great are many and obvious. Probably the most important reason is that of suprise. Nobody ever would have predicted that Luke could have come from Vader. This is especially true after Ben tells Luke that Vader betrayed and murdered his father.
The original Star Wars trilogy has many instances in which certain events are not expected by the first-time viewer (such as the destruction of Alderaan, Ben's death, Lando's betrayal, etc.). Part of George Lucas' genius in telling the original Star Wars story was his ability to suprise the audience.
Had the original Star Wars trilogy come out today, I do not think it would have done nearly as well as it did in the late '70's and early '80's. Why is this? Because of the rampant spoilers on the Internet. Even if he really tried, it would be impossible for Lucas to suprise the audience nowadays.
This rabid impatience of the fans to know everything about the story before seeing the movie has brought down the overall initial perception of the prequels, in my opinion.
Writing this essay, five days before Attack of the Clones is released, I know practically nothing about the Episode II story line. I have heard of the words Dooku and Jango, but I have no idea who or what they are. It has by no means been easy for me to avoid all of the spoilers for these three years.
Being an avid Star Wars fan, I frequent web sites like StarWars.com, TheForce.Net, and JediNet.Com. But the closer it came to May 16, 2002, the harder and harder it has become not to accidentally see something compromising of the story.
In the past several months I've hardly been to the official site at all, and there are large sections of the various fan sites that I have to avoid. However it will have been well worth it for me on the sixteenth when I see the story unfold over the course of the movie's two hour fourteen minute length. This is as opposed to seeing it unfold over the course of three years' worth of spoilers.
To get right down to the point, I think that the movies and the fan community as a whole are diminished in the long run by the ceaseless spoilers. While not always easy, waiting out the time between movies will greatly enhance the actual event for which we all are waiting. I know it will for me.