The Awakening

You didn’t beat me. Do you hear that, Internet?! I’ve won. I have seen “The Force Awakens” without you spoiling anything about it that wasn’t in the very first teaser trailer.

Yes, I’m gloating. I’m entitled, don’t you think? You are an immense global machine with far more funding and manpower than I. You marshaled hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of your little minions to seek out information about the movie and put it out there, releasing it into the atmosphere and the water supply so that it was simply impossible for anybody to not already know that Bobo Barabas dies at the hands of Jif Orino and that the Gonologues were a faction of the Grey Flight all along.

All of which are things I totally made up just now, because I truly have no idea what happens in this movie. I don’t know the names of any of the new characters, or even which side they’re on!

Yes, you once tricked me into seeing photos of Kim Kardashian’s bare ass, the ones that were just a ripoff of a much more famous photo series, despite my active desire to know as little about this person as possible. But that was a costly victory, my friend, because I learned from the experience. I learned that long before “Star Wars” spoilers would be in play, I needed to go into Tweetdeck’s settings and disable all images.

Are Han and Leia still a couple? I don’t know. Are the Stormtroopers good or bad? Are they still clones? Couldn’t tell you. Are Artoo and Threepio in it? I can’t even remember if they were in the teaser, because that thing was released so long ago and I haven’t watched it since.

I’m not saying it didn’t require discipline and effort. I’ve been building thicker and thicker walls around myself over the past several months. As the media machine slowly creaked to life, I created a new bookmarks folder just for “Star Wars”-related interviews, articles, and videos that I would only read after I’d seen “The Force Awakens.” A couple of weeks ago, I added a dozen new hotwords to my Twitter client’s “mute” list. Every day or two, another new one would occur to me. Ultimately, that list grew to twenty.

I stopped visiting pop culture fansites of all kinds. Then, I stopped visiting Reddit and Fark and other news aggregators. When I raised the threat level to Defcon 1, I even stopped looking at news sites of any kind.

And why?

Because it’s Star Wars. I argue that the Holy Trilogy episodes are, objectively, all great movies and beyond that, I acknowledge that they have a power to enchant and delight me to which that no other movies can even come close. Anything that you adored as a kid — a book, movie, TV show, comic book, even a computer and OS — whose gravity well affected your trajectory through childhood and, indeed, through life, will always have a special place in your heart.

I want to reproduce the conditions under which I saw it when I was in grammar school. I want to be a blank slate. I want to let the whole thing wash over me like cleansing waters. I don’t want to be anticipating anything that happens. Not even anything I saw in an official trailer or commercial.

I’m not saying you won’t have other victories, Internet. But, dammit, I won this battle. You’ve been beaten.

Why am I laughing, you ask?

Oh, nothing. Keep  on doing what you’re doing right now.

Now I’m just being cruel. Don’t waste your energy, Internet. I hear you, bringing new reactors and generators online in a last-ditch effort to spoil something, anything for me before I see the movie. Like, induce some no-goodnik to send me an email that reveals the whole ending, under an innocuous subject line that I’m sure to click on. Perhaps you’re even arranging for a New York Times poilitical op-ed piece about the Democratic debates to begins “Hilary Clinton proved that she’s clearly willing to win the White House for the Democratic Party even if she inspires as little excitement as Grig Hortu did when she ordered Jor Horizo to accompany Leia to the Du system to negotiate the great compromise in ‘The Force Awakens’…”

Just stop.

Do you seriously think I’d explain my master stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty five minutes ago.

I wrote all of this last night, and set it to auto-post after I was inside the theater, with my phone turned off. I even listened to loud music through my over-the-ear headphones while waiting in line to get in, to guarantee that I wouldn’t overhear anything.

Forget it, Internet. It’s Star Wars.

4 thoughts on “The Awakening

  1. Philip Shane

    I stopped after the first sentence. I’m looking forward to reading this in a few days. Got tickets to see the movie on Xmas day at the ginormous Ziegfeld Theater. So I’m marking this blog entry “do not open until after Xmas.” Desperately hiding from spoilers for a week has been an excellent opportunity for this padawan to practice Patience.

  2. Rick Allen

    I bow to your greatness. Even my own 12 year old twins were trying to spoil it for me. Seeing it at 12:30 Saturday was beyond awesome. And yes I did tear up at that moment!

  3. R. Sean Choquette

    Thanks Andy,

    I probably won’t watch the movie until I am back from my Xmas trip to Greensboro, NC. To visit my 96 year old uncle who had open heart surgery last February. he called me to ask if I would come and visit during the holidays so he could give me some tools he wasn’t going to use anymore. As an avid woodworker who has never turned down a working tool, I said yes I would come not knowing what to expect would be in my stocking there. When I return I will plan on seeing the “Star Wars Awakening movie, it been so long that I saw the originals no spoilers could joust my memory, however I have not seen many spoilers because it’s a long drive to NC from California and all I have seen is road and the entrance to the LaQuinta’s across the 14 odd states I have been through so far. Hope to be there tomorow and then will take a day to relax before calling him and informing him I am close by.

    So thanks for not spoiling this movie for me Andy, I have enjoyed your internet shows you have been on for the past 5 years. As an avid TWiT viewer I haven’t missed any of the good stuff there since leaving Santa Clara, CA 8 days ago. I will look forward to your full review to this movie after I get back.


    Seanius T. Malenius

  4. Ihnatko Post author

    Oh, wow. Spoiling a big movie for Dad, when it’s so close to Christmas and it’s so easy to find a charity that would LOVE to take a brand-new game console off your hands? That’s a gutsy choice.

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