You’ve probably heard it before. Someone, somewhere, on some website or social media platform, complaining that a show or movie was “spoiled” by someone else because of pictures or insider information. Spoilers are a terrible thing, especially if you enjoy going into a show or movie without any prior knowledge of the plot, so you can be surprised or impressed when the big reveal happens. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting theaters in December, there are loads of spoilers to be had, and all it takes is an accidental click of a link, to ruin it for those who wish to remain blissfully ignorant.
Spoilers seem to be a phenomenon that has only recently surfaced over the last few years, but according to a piece by Retroist, Star Wars spoilers began a long time ago, in a fan event far, far away (Well if you consider California to be far away).
"“In late 1978, David Prowse revealed that he was Luke’s father – two years before Empire Strikes Back hit theaters.”"
According to the piece, the author’s mother would clip and collect any newspaper article regarding Star Wars. And, because she knew her son was a huge Darth Vader fan, this particular article was of great interest to him.
Actual newspaper article saved by Retroist’s mother
As you can see, in the bottom right corner, David Prowse dropped on of the biggest, if not THE biggest spoilers in the history of mankind. To this day, fans jokingly say “SPOILER!” when someone talks about Vader’s big reveal to Luke. Back in 1978, there was no internet (not as we know it at least), nor was there the instant access of social media. So, George Lucas probably didn’t learn of this particular spoiler until later, and one can imagine, he was probably none too pleased with Mr. Prowse.
Regardless, it’s rather neat to know that even in the late 70’s, spoilers were out there, in their infancy, ruining movies for the people who were anxiously awaiting the original Star Wars trilogy to debut.