How well did I avoid The Force Awakens?
Obviously there are going to be spoilers in this, but no more than what has been in trailers, posters, and images released online to news publications. If you don’t mind this, read on. Otherwise, bookmark this and come back to it after you’ve seen the film. This is not a review of the film.
Firstly, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I knew it was going to be a challenge to avoid as many of the images, trailers, previews and spoilers that were bound to be splashed across the internet. I managed to succeed, for the most part. Here’s how it went for me.
Not long after Disney purchased LucasFilm in October 2012, there were rumblings of new films. I mean, why else would Disney pay $4.06 billion for it, if it didn’t intend to capitalise on the saga that changed how merchandising was done (and still makes the most of to this day).
At my old job, whenever people were talking about Star Wars, I would drop what I was doing and leave the room. People became used to that after a while, and sometimes even gave me warning, so I could leave the room. (It did take a while for the novelty of them making me leave in such a way to wear off, however.)
I don’t watch regular television, so I didn’t see any trailers that way. Occasionally, however, YouTube would show the trailer in the suggested videos section, so I did see the thumbnails for the first two trailers.
From this, I gathered that the Millennium Falcon would be making a return, it would have a dogfight with some TIE Fighters, and the Stormtrooper helmet had a bit of a redesign.
I always thought that the thumbnail from the teaser trailer of Poe in his X-Wing was reminiscent of Zev during the Battle of Hoth, which I thought was a good sign.
Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens
Zev Seneca in The Empire Strikes Back
It has also been difficult and nerve wracking every time that I’ve been to the cinema over the past few months. Only once did a trailer for The Force Awakens show, and that was in mid-November. Once I worked out what the trailer was for (21 seconds into this trailer), I shut my eyes, blocked my ears, and hummed to myself for the next two and a bit minutes until it ended.
After the poster was revealed, and as the film came closer to its release, it began to appear everywhere. Billboards, online, the sides of buses. I never took a good look at it, but I became quite adept at recognising the colours out of the corner of my eye and just avoiding looking at it.
Here is a very rough sketch that I did just before going in the cinema of the poster, based on what I had seen of it and what I remembered.
My crudely drawn sketch of what I knew of the poster
Aside from that, there were a couple of random images that I saw, like the cover of “The Art of Star Wars The Force Awakens”, Kylo Ren as he appears on the top of LEGO boxes, and Han and Chewie on board the Millennium Falcon (which was frequently accompanied by the caption “Chewie, we’re home.”).
“Chewie, we’re home.”
The soundtrack track listing was leaked in late November, but I avoided even reading the titles. After the debacle with the Episode I soundtrack featuring “Qui-Gon’s Noble End” as a track title, I didn’t want to take any chances.
Now that I’ve seen The Force Awakens, I’m able to go back and watch the trailers, examine the images and listen to the soundtrack once it’s released.
Would I do it again? Undoubtedly.
I previously gave the same kind of treatment to The Dark Knight Rises, so I knew what I was getting myself into. The reason why I continue to do this is that I love not knowing what to expect. When you go into a cinema, anything that the crew has dreamed could be projected in front of you. I want to be surprised, to find out the information in the way the director intended, and to not spend the movie thinking “Gee, I wonder when this thing from the trailer is going to happen.”
It’s time to get ready to do it all over again for the next film, and the one after that, and the one after that…