There are very few nerd properties that bring out the spoilerphobes quite like Star Wars, with only Game of Thrones coming close. With the release of The Last Jedi, the spoiler panic is already reaching a fever pitch, complete with a Chrome extension for those who need their internet experience to be completely spoiler-free until they can get to the theater. But are The Last Jedi spoilers really such a big deal? Is it really the end of the world if someone walks by and pulls a Homer Simpson and blurts out the twist ending?
As someone who does not consider themselves a spoilerphobe, most of the time I come down on the "no" side of this question. (I would happily talk about Game of Thrones filming spoilers all day long, if my editor would let me.) But this is an instance where I believe that spoiler avoidance is a good thing.
The Force Awakens, for instance, was a far better experience going in knowing as little as possible, though some plot points were guessable. For instance, many felt Han Solo's death was the "big twist" to keep quiet, but in reality, it shouldn't have come as a shock to anyone. Harrison Ford had said for years the only way he would come back and play Han Solo again is if they killed the character off on-screen. Turns out, he wasn't kidding.
But then again, The Force Awaken's twist that Rey was the "Luke Skywalker" of the reboot was a twist worth keeping under wraps, and one the marketing team had done an excellent job of misdirection for. Going in not knowing that would be the big reveal, for me, anyway, was a wonderful surprise that would not have been as much of a joyous realization had I known ahead.
From the reviews and tweets from critics who screened The Last Jedi, this is true of our newest installment as well.
Having now seen the movie myself, I have to agree. In fact, I want to go a step further and say, the less you know, the better.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a thrill ride from the moment the opening crawl finishes. At first, fans might fear, like The Force Awakens was to A New Hope, The Last Jedi will be a basic remake of Empire Strikes Back. One can understand the concern with the reviews walking around shouting "This is the best Star Wars since Empire Strikes Back!"
Well, to quote Luke Skywalker, "This isn't going to go the way you think." Just when you think the plot will zig, it zags. You think you have a clue about the Porgs? No, you have no idea about the Porgs. While some of the plot points are the traditional ones, others, like the unfolding of recent history between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker, peel away like onion layers, each more tragic than the last.
The Last Jedi is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, not unlike the best parts of Game of Thrones. While it's great to anticipate how the internet is going to melt down when the Red Wedding comes, there's nothing that can beat that first time you go through it yourself. The same holds true for The Last Jedi.
One of the problems with many blockbusters is that the endings often feel unearned, like the heroes only survived because the script said so. But because of the surprise twists and turns, the predictable parts of The Last Jedi feel all that much more welcome and comforting. This is one blockbuster where those who do survive have earned their right to fight another day.
So, do yourself a favor and get off the internet, download that Chrome Extension, delete your Twitter app, and do whatever it is you have to do to stay spoiler-free. For this one, it's worth it.