Friday, February 15, 2008

Concerning spoilers

In the comments on this post, a reader and I got to talking about spoilers and I realized I had more to say about the topic than I could do justice in a comment.

The reader (I wish I could put at least a name to him/her, but I respect Internet anonymity as long as it's as polite and insightful as this person is) expressed her/his desire to go into Indy and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as cold and spoiler-free as possible. I know the feeling.

When The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980 I was so excited to see the next Star Wars movie that I wanted to know everything about it as quickly as I possibly could. I read at least the comics adaptation and possibly the novelization before I ever saw the movie, so I knew the entire story before I ever set foot in the theater. I knew that the little, green pest in the swamp was the great Jedi Master Yoda, and I knew that Vader at least claimed to be Luke's dad (though I didn't completely believe him until Yoda confirmed it in Return of the Jedi).

I also knew that the movie ended on a cliffhanger, but that didn't make the end of Empire any easier for me to take. It was a long three years until Jedi came out and I could find out what happened to Han.

Empire is my favorite Star Wars movie now, but at the time I hated it. Not "hated" the way a lot of fans hate the prequels, but hated it as in I didn't like it nearly as much as I had liked Star Wars, which I had gone into completely cold (and which didn't leave me hanging the way Empire did). I decided that when Jedi came out, I was going to know a lot less about it than I had Empire.

That was a lot easier in the mid-'80s than it is today what with the Internet and all. Heck, even by the early '90s it was getting difficult. I'm watching T2 again right now and remembering all the interviews Schwarzenegger gave before that movie in which he revealed that he was playing the good guy this time around. That absolutely spoils the first 30 minutes of the movie where Cameron (albeit half-heartedly) tries to keep the identity of the good guy a secret.

Then there are trailers like the ones for Double Jeopardy and The Italian Job where they just tell you the entire movie -- including the end -- in three minutes. I just re-watched the Italian Job trailer and it still pisses me off.

How much info to seek out before I see a movie or read a comic is a hard call to make and I don't always know where to draw the line. I'd always love most to go into a story completely cold, but there are some spoilers that make me more excited to see a movie, not less.

I got some complaints when I posted links and an image for possible designs of the Cloverfield monster before the movie came out. At least two of the links were obviously bogus and the other two, as far as I was concerned, were just rumors, but some folks didn't want to know even about the rumors and I respect that. The image I posted turned out to be as false as I'd suspected it to be, but I distressed some readers because they thought I'd ruined a big part of the movie for them and I apologize for that.

I thought maybe I'd done it again by posting that Indiana Jones still with Marion Ravenwood in it. Even though it was fairly widely publicized when Karen Allen was cast, there are folks who didn't know that Marion was back for this movie and I may have spoiled something by sharing that image, even though it's an image that the studio wanted released to promote the movie.

And now that I'm talking about it, I've done it again for people who missed those previous posts.

Here's where I try to draw the line on this blog. Although I don't want to push away any readers, ultimately I've got to write about stuff that interests me or I'll be second guessing myself all day long. (More about that philosophy and how it pertains to fiction-writing later.) So when it comes to spoilers, I'll never knowingly give away a major plot point or surprise on this blog. I will however share things that get me more excited to see or read something, even if that means I'm no longer going into it cold.

Knowing that not everyone feels that way though, I'll also try to do a better job about putting potentially spoilery images behind cuts. In my excitement to share something cool, I might forget that occasionally, but I'll try. Hopefully that'll work for everybody.


snell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
snell said...

You want spoilers? Let me give you the ultimate spoiler...

As you say, before Jedi came out, there was still plenty of debate as to whether Darth really was Luke's father, or whether it was a big lie.

Well, a week before the film came out, the local rag's film critic had gone to one of the press previews, and apparently he couldn't wait to spill the beans. So in his "preview" of the film (and remember, this was a week before opening), on the front page of the entertainment section we got a HUGE headline "DARTH REALLY IS LUKE'S FATHER!" Along with the sub-headline "AND LEAH IS HIS SISTER!!"

I kid you not.

Michael May said...

I don't usually condone violence, even in jest, but that guy needed a whoopin'.


Related Posts with Thumbnails