We have just under a year before another Star Wars movie comes out. Trust me; I know exactly how long it is. I'm counting every single day. Maybe even the hours. Possibly the minutes.
I'm thirsty for Star Wars. We've been in a desert of new Star Wars films for a decade, since the release of Revenge of the Sith in 2005. Yes, Episode III came out a decade ago.
And, like every Star Wars movie to come out since The Empire Strikes Back, this new installment—mysteriously titled The Force Awakens—is going to be the subject of every leak, speculation and spoiler known to man. It's difficult to navigate the Internet, or even real life for that matter, without running into what could be a spoiler for the new film.
Since I'm known as "The Star Wars Guy" and have a podcast dedicated to Star Wars, it's even harder for me. I get sent every lascivious rumor and scrap of news in the world as soon as it hits the Web, no less than half a dozen times. Yes, I have seen the TIE fighter crashed on the expressway, and the Team Unicorn parody of "All About That Bass."
I understand that we're thirsty for news about Star Wars. We do this for everything we love. But I'm starting to question the value of this constant quest for knowledge. What made Star Wars the incredible force of nature it is today?
I think it has a lot to do with the fact that when the original Star Wars came out, no one had any idea what to expect. You talk to people who were there and saw it for that first time in 1977—almost 40 years ago!—and the thing they all talk about was sitting down and being blown away. Virtually all of them will tell you what it was like to watch the Star Destroyer come up overhead, and how breathtaking the action was. They were swept up in the middle of something they didn't quite understand.
How would that movie have been made better for you if you knew every single detail about it before it came out? It wouldn't. I think a lot of the reason people find fault with The Phantom Menace isn't because it's bad; I personally find it flawed, but endlessly enjoyable. The problem was that they built up an expectation of what it should have been, rather than enjoying it for what it was.
I want to know everything there is to know about Star Wars. It kills me every time I stop myself from clicking a link that might contain a spoiler. I breathe Star Wars, but I also want to park my butt in the theater next December and watch it unfold before me with as much mystery as possible.
You only get to watch a new Star Wars movie for the first time once. This is no time to screw around. Clearly the artists and storytellers working on The Force Awakens have decided that the best way to experience the unfolding story of the seventh episode in the Star Wars saga is in a film, told in precisely the correct order of images they've created. If they thought the best way to experience the story was random bits of information pieced together from across the Internet, they would have designed it as an online scavenger hunt. But no. They decided this story is best experienced on the big screen.
So that's what I'm aiming for. I'll try to avoid the leaks and the spoilers, and nourish myself on the small, official breadcrumbs they give me—like the trailer, or the Topps-style collector cards revealing the character names. When the film opens at the end of the year, my hope is to know only as much or as little as they've told me. And when the modern-day equivalent of that Star Destroyer flies overhead, I'll be that person in the audience, blown away and eager to find out just what the hell has happened in a galaxy far, far away.
Bryan Young is editor-in-chief of BigShinyRobot.com