Why I Plan On Watching ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Dumb


“We’re not in the information age anymore, we are in the information management age.” — Chris Hardwick

There are two major pros and cons to living in the information age:

Pro

Access and exposure to mountains of constant information.

Con

Access and exposure to mountains of constant information.

This is especially evident when it comes to the deluge of spoilers published online regarding forthcoming Hollywood movies.

Movies like the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Despite director J.J. Abram’s shroud of secrecy covering the production, speculation has been at a feverish pitch concerning every minute detail of the film.

Disney and Lucasfilm recently added kerosene to this raging inferno by unleashing their powerful marketing machine to heighten the already frenzied demand for Star Wars merchandise.

While it is exciting to discover more about a film you are are eagerly awaiting, the unfortunate trade-off is there are very little surprises left to experience during a movie’s initial theatrical exhibition.

For me, a huge part of the appeal of watching a movie for the first time theatrically is the sense of discovery. The feeling of embarking on an unknown journey when those opening credits blaze across the screen.

Sadly, I feel this dynamic, communal component of the cinematic experience is going the way of the dodo bird.

This is why I decided to go on a media blackout when it comes to all things related to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I’ve made Herculean efforts to skip movie spoilers posted online. I’ve avoided toy aisles in department stores and at big box retailers like the plague.

When conversations about the movie turn to in-depth details, I politely excuse myself, because I want to go see the movie being as ignorant as I possibly can be about its plot.

Despite my efforts, I’ve still gotten some information about specific details because I run a sci-fi web site, and have a social media presence that makes complete spoiler avoidance all but impossible.

Fortunately, I have managed to avoid most major film details, spoilers, and plot leaks. This pleases me, because I want to turn back the clock when I attend my first The Force Awakens screening, and hear the stirring opening notes to John Williams’ transcendent score.

I want to travel back in time to when I saw the original trilogy in theaters as a teenager— a time before smartphones, the internet, and social media.

A time when I initially learned Darth Vader’s true identity while sitting in the theater watching The Empire Strikes Back. I’ll never forget the audience’s gasps of shock and surprise.

I think mine might have been among the loudest.

Yes, the temptation to consume all the information about upcoming films— especially ones we are most excited for — is almost irresistible.

But if we can show some restraint, allow ourselves to limit how much we are spoiled about movies like The Force Awakens, I believe we can enjoy richer, more satisfying cinematic experiences.

Let’s turn back that clock.


Hi, I’m Rod T. Faulkner. I’m a HUGE sci-fi fan, and I wrote 200 Best Online Sci-Fi Short Films - a compilation of terrific science fiction and genre short films available for viewing online.