Even as I’ve become more and more excited about Star Wars and the premiere of The Force Awakens, the past few months have found me becoming increasingly reclusive.
At our local mall it seems like every single store, from Pottery Barn to Sears, has Star Wars items; Zales, the jewelry store, has Star Wars pendants with diamonds. It’s fantastic that the merchandise hasn’t been limited to boys and men – there’s so much for women, girls, home décor, auto décor. The girls’ and women’s merchandise hasn’t been restricted to pink or princess (as much as I love Leia); it’s been equally dark side and light side. As I snapped up Her Universe’s Vader bomber jacket I appreciated this new surfeit of choice, the result of vocal female fans and Disney’s ability to recognize a previously underrepresented market. I’ve been passionately supportive of the marketing: up at midnight on Force Friday, in line at the theatre to make sure we had opening day tickets…
So why am I just a few short steps from being as crazy as old Ben Kenobi, living in isolation in the desert?
Because I want to enjoy The Force Awakens with the same wide-eyed innocence that I saw the original Star Wars. Metaphorically, of course – I’m going to the theatre at 3:00 a.m. to watch Episodes I-VI, in a row, on the big screen before the showing of Episode VII.
So much about The Force Awakens is fresh, modern, and new, and I want to experience it that way. I want see The Force Awakens untainted by speculation and attachments to expectations. I want to be able to enjoy Episode VII, fully in the present moment, not knowing what surprise each new scene holds.
I’ve only watched one trailer, and I kept up with the hype for The Force Awakens so I could be current for the Star Wars panel at GeekGirlCon in October. I read some of the new canon. As soon as the GeekGirlCon panel was over, though, I put on my Star Wars blinders, which may or may not resemble Ben’s hooded robe.
I already feel like I know too much, and it makes me anxious.
“Chewie, we’re home?” What does that mean? Where have you been, Han? What, Kylo Ren is a fanboy? I want Sith Lords!
No don’t tell me! I want to find out in the movie.
This is why the merchandise in the stores is overwhelming. Many of them have passive little tells. Here’s an example: I have a Sithmas tree which has been decorated mostly with Lego figurines and a few real Hallmark ornaments until this year. In 2015, Star Wars Christmas ornaments are everywhere. I was so excited at Target! Along with the Star Wars wrapping paper and ribbons, I happily brought home a new C-3PO, only to notice that one of his arms is now a different color. I know C-3PO has probably been through a lot since we last saw him in Return of the Jedi, but now I know something significant has happened to his original arm. Please don’t tell me what.
On social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – even friends who have never discussed Star Wars with me are talking about the new movie. Their conjectures run rampant: What if Kylo Ren is… Jar Jar?!?
Jar Jar is in The Force Awakens?!?
See? It’s totally making me crazy. So, for now, ignore me while I sit in my cave on Tatooine, bathrobe on, hood up, eyes tightly shut, ears plugged, singing bantha calls. It’s my spoiler-free zone.
In a few days, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say, share, and speculate.
Until then, may the Force be with you, in a spoiler-free zone, my friends.
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