Why I Don’t Want to Watch Any Star Wars Trailers

Today begins my quest to avoid trailers, promos, and other spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (I guess we sorta stopped counting episode numbers?) It will be difficult, I expect.

I will see this movie when I comes out.  They’ve already sold me a ticket. I don’t need to ride the hype train to release day.

I’m avoiding all of this for several reasons. Obviously, I don’t want anything to be spoiled. How many times have we all watched a trailer only to come away feeling like we’d already seen the movie?

The Force Awakens was kind of thin on supplying new material in the Star Wars universe. Watching all the trailers leading up to the film ensured that very little of it was surprising or unexpected.

I’ve also gotten very cynical about this process. People go nuts about trailers for big movies. I thought it was bad for Marvel movies, but Star Wars has taken it to a whole different level.

I’ve seen numerous articles in my newsfeeds about the trailer. There are thinkpieces about the trailer. Breakdowns of what happens in the trailer. Articles about fan reaction to the trailer. Posts about new characters revealed in the trailer. Rankings of the best moments in the trailer.

I can’t do it.

We all know somewhere in the back of our minds that trailers are advertisements. By sharing them and obsessing over them like this, we’re kind of acting as extensions of Disney’s marketing machine.

Look, if you enjoy the process, that’s cool. I’m not going to begrudge you a good time. Not so long ago, I similarly obsessed over upcoming releases.

This is partially an experiment as well. I have a theory.

I find myself frequently in the minority when it comes to giant blockbuster films. Everyone else walks out of the theater having had a good time. I just feel unsatisfied.

Like the pictures on fast food menus, movie trailers generally look better than the actual product you end up with. And both are full of empty calories. My hypothesis: I will enjoy these sorts of movies more without having seen a bunch of spoiler-laden ads beforehand.

I think The Last Jedi stands a good chance of being an excellent Star Wars movie and a lot better than the average big budget movie. But I’d rather let the movie speak for itself than go into the experience with a headful of presuppositions based on the advertising.

Spoilers aren’t just plot twists, character deaths, or other “important” details. In a way, knowing anything about a movie is in some small way a “spoiler.”

There’s an experience, a sense of wonder that comes of discovering something for the first time. You just can’t replicate it.

I miss the mystery. I miss the adventure of not knowing what elements are going to be present in a film. I miss being surprised.

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So no spoilers, please. I’ll be happy to talk about everything after we’ve all seen the movie. Just eight more months to go.

Yeah, this is gonna be tough.


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