It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, we’re not talking about Christmas, although that’s pretty cool, too. Basically, there’s a new Star Wars film coming out. It’s called The Last Jedi, and it is, as Han Solo would say, a big deal. In fact, Trump and Brexit be damned, this is THE most significant event of 2017.
According to internet rumours (which, as science shows, are always 100% accurate), The Last Jedi will begin at the exact point the previous film, The Force Awakens, left off. If you remember, The Force Awakens teased a plethora of potential mysteries, like: Who are Rey’s parents? What’s the deal with Supreme Leader Snoke? And who the hell would want a Rathtar anyway? (Rathtars were the ghastly tentacular beasts Han Solo was smuggling outside of Jakku for no discernible reason. They were terrible. Let’s never speak of them again.)
The latest episode is written and directed by Rian Johnson, who is excellent, and will no doubt feel morally obliged to answer all of these questions - and more! - to the absolute satisfaction of Star Wars nerds across the universe. The film had a big, fancy World Premiere in Los Angeles this weekend, and is being screened to critics over the next few days, so spoilers will be rife.
For this reason, and to avoid any potential nerd emergencies (“nermergencies”) fans should take the necessary precautions to insulate themselves from the deluge of unwelcome information flooding into their brain helmets between now and December 14th.
Here are our five top tips to stem the flow and protect yourself from the imminent spoiler terror:
1. Escape to a mindfulness retreat
Like salted caramel or gin cocktails, mindfulness is all the rage these days. It’s a technique for paying attention to the present moment, reconnecting with your body, and being aware of your thoughts and feelings as they happen in the here and now. In short, it’s exactly like the Force, and mastering the skills of mindfulness will make you look like some kind of ultra-chilled Jedi Master to all of your friends.
The Beach House Goa is a running a series of mindfulness retreats for curious souls who want to get away from it all this holiday season. According to the website, the experience is suitable for anyone who “wants to learn a new meditative technique as an empowering skill to enhance all levels of life – health, mental potential, social behaviour, and inner peace.” In other words, the perfect getaway for Star Wars aficionados who don’t want to find out whether Captain Phasma takes her shiny chrome hat off or not in the next five days.
Activities include yoga, meditation and one-on-one consultations, and a welcome meal is included in the price. Essentially, it’s almost exactly like when Luke trains with Yoda on Dagobah. Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things. Kale salad, though? Now you’re talking!
2. Get a job at the “Doomsday Vault”
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is buried within a remote island somewhere between Norway and the North Pole. The isolation is deliberate: inside, the vault stores the world’s largest collection of crop samples and seeds, and the facility acts as a gigantic, agricultural back-up system in case of a natural or man-made disaster.
Perhaps most excitingly, however, even though the actual vault is embedded 100 metres underground, its dramatic, metallic entrance protrudes out of the icy wilderness almost exactly like the Rebel base on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. It’s the perfect location for achieving total quarantine over the next couple of weeks, while maintaining the cheery familiarity and nostalgic glow of a desolate Arctic wasteland.
Alas, the vault’s website isn’t advertising any current vacancies, though they’ll definitely need the occasional cleaner, cook, or snowspeeder pilot from time to time, so it’s always worth a refresh. Note: Governance fans will be delighted by the sheer volume of policy documentation downloadable from the “Resources” section, which is the agronomic equivalent of the Jedi Archives.
3. Lock yourself inside an actual Bacta Tank (kind of)
Let’s be honest: perhaps the only foolproof way to remain spoiler-free this week will be to lock yourself inside a sensory deprivation tank and float in salt water until you reach an altered level of consciousness. Presumably while huffing salted caramel and chugging gin cocktails.
Based in London (or as we like to call it, the “Coruscant” of the UK), the Floatworks prides itself on having floated 250,000 customers since the company’s inception. Apparently they use “cutting-edge isopod floatation pods” and if that doesn’t sound like Industrial Light and Magic, we don’t know what does.
A single float lasts 60 minutes, and you can buy a package of five floats for £200. Using complex algorithms, and accounting for highly important “sleeptime, we calculate you could complete 75 floats before The Last Jedi opens, at a total cost of £3,000. In galactic currency, that’s about 8,500 credits, or half a trip to Alderaan.
4. Binge-watch Star Trek instead
Although science is almost always better than non-science, some things are painfully and cosmically obvious, and require no further evidence, data nor supporting detail to validate their truthfulness. To wit: Star Wars is better than Star Trek. This is just a fact. Don’t believe us? Thomas Jefferson even wrote it into the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; Oh, and by the way, Star Wars is better than Star Trek. Suck it, dweebs.”
See. It’s history.
With that in mind, if you were at a loose end, and happy to a kill a little time watching any old trash between now and December 14th, then you could theoretically binge the entirety of Star Trek: The Original Series PLUS approximately 19 episodes’ worth of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Weirdly, there isn’t as much Original Series content as you’d expect: only 79 episodes, broadcast over three measly seasons. Even now, 48 years after the final episode, the show still disappoints.
Important footnote 1: Star Trek: The Original Series wasn’t called “Star Trek: The Original Series” when it was first broadcast. It was just called “Star Trek”. That would have taken some amazing prescience on Gene Roddenberry’s part. Having said that, “A New Hope” was just called “Star Wars” back in 1977, and the“Episode IV” tag was added later, so let’s call this one a draw.
Important footnote 2: We’re being droll. Star Trek rocks. Live long and prosper, Trekkies. Trekkers. Whatever.
5. Stay off Twitter until you’ve seen the movie.
Er, stay off Twitter until you’ve seen the movie. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.