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Prepping for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Prepping for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Our patience has paid off. It’s been two long years since we left Rey and Luke standing on the cliffs of Ahch-To and now we’re just days — mere hours, really — away from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Like any dedicated Padawan learner, the months leading up any new Star Wars film have posed a challenge. Fandom in the age of the internet is a delicate balance between absorbing as much information as possible and trying to ensure that the first viewing experience is still full of magic, wonder, and surprises. Learning about the world we’re about to dive into while avoiding any major spoilers can feel a bit like navigating an asteroid field.

Here’s how I’ve tried to get ready while remaining vigilant:

Trust in the Force, er, the cast. The reveal of that first teaser trailer at Star Wars Celebration Orlando and the cast panel marked the beginning of the slow trickling of information beyond the title itself. In the months since, there have been plenty of written interviews, late-night show appearances, and the ever-present Mark Hamill delightedly trolling us all on Twitter. It’s safe to assume that anything being said on the official press tour (or from the man who managed to keep the big Empire Strikes Back twist to himself) isn’t going to actually spoil the film.

Watching every last official teaser available. Last week, one particular teaser spot’s surprising ending had a few fans starting their social media blackouts early. But as someone whose head snaps to attention every time that Nissan commercial comes on TV, it seems it goes against my programming to ignore any teaser spot or tie-in related to the film. Typically footage from trailers and teases are from just the first hour of a film, and spliced together in such a way that we’re pretty confident, as Luke Skywalker says, “This is not going to go the way you think.”

Avoid social media for the next week. Until you’ve seen The Last Jedi for yourself, just stay away. At least that’s my plan. Most people will respect spoiler warnings at least through opening weekend, but all it takes is that one comment or image to slip into your news feed.

Read, read, read. Good news! With all that extra time saved from not scrolling through GIF reactions and memes, we can catch up on some actual reading. Recently, I picked up Ken Liu’s The Legends of Luke Skywalker, a brilliant middle-grade reader that explores some of Luke’s previously untold exploits within the framework of stories being swapped among passengers on a cargo ship to Canto Bight. Beyond just the good fun of some new Skywalker tales, it’s also filled with lessons on the importance and power of free speech and a cautionary tale about propaganda and certain points of view. Are these stories true? Maybe. But every myth and legend gets a little bent and twisted as it’s passed down in retellings and passed through each tellers personal lens.

If you’re looking for something a little more straight-forward, there are several Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi titles to choose from: Phasma by Delilah Dawson, Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray, and Canto Bight, a collection by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant and John Jackson Miller, plus many more coming after the film’s release. Or, if you’re short on time, Marvel’s Captain Phasma comic book series by Kelly Thompson and Marco Checchetto helps to explain how she escaped the destruction of Starkiller Base.

And of course –- watch the films! At minimum, it’s time to revisit The Force Awakens before you settle in for The Last Jedi. But there’s still time to rewatch the entire original and prequel trilogies if you feel so inclined.

How are you getting ready? Tell me about it on Twitter @KristinBaver (which I will be checking just as soon as I emerge from the theater.)

Contact Kristin via email at kbaver@coffeewithkenobi.com.

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