Do not read this piece.
Clarification: Do not read this piece if you don’t want to have “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ruined.
Do not read this piece even if you do want it to be spoiled, which is to say if you haven’t seen the film yet and simply want to learn what happened. If you proceed, you should have seen “The Force Awakens” already and want no more than to read a piece on a film that doesn’t tiptoe around certain plot elements, if not avoid them completely.
Those of us writing these pieces (including The Guardian and Slash Film) don’t only want to avoid pissing off the film’s corporate overlord Disney, its publicists, its director J.J. Abrams and its stars, including Harrison Ford, who it seems would be personally disappointed in us, like a crestfallen dad, for simply revealing [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted]. We also don’t want to piss off those who haven’t seen it and do want to enter the movie more or less fresh, experiencing the big, splashy, shocking spoilers for the first time themselves without having them be spoiled by some dumb jerk.
Typically we don’t mind spoilers. A movie — or a TV show, or a book, or a rock opera — should work independent of its major twists. If something didn’t work because the viewers knew the big surprise(s) going in, then it’s likely it’s not very good to begin with.
But we also respect that people think otherwise. And we also think there are exceptions. We didn’t want the finale of “Mad Men” spoilered. And we also didn’t want “The Force Awakens” spoilered. Watching certain things happen in “The Force Awakens,” we got a buzz from not having known about them prior — from experiencing big shocks as actual big shocks. We want you, the reader who possibly hasn’t seen the film yet and knows not what they’re in for, to experience that as well.
But we also want to discuss the film freely, and to begin conversations about what we saw. We want to process them and look forward to one day, fairly soon, living in a world where we talk about “The Force Awakens” the way we talk about the other “Star Wars” films. (Excepting the prequels. They’re worse than their rep and let’s not talk about them anymore except as an excuse for complaining.)
So turn back now, if you haven’t seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” We’ll even give you a chance to run. Here’s a giant battering ram of pictures to separate this intro from our actual discussion of the many things that happened in “The Force Awakens.” If you haven’t seen the film, please leave. You’ll thank us later.