Are 'Star Wars' Fans Spoiled by Spoilers?

ByABC News
May 18, 2005, 7:34 PM

May 19, 2005 -- -- Even before the opening credits began rolling on "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," thousands of fans around the world already knew precisely who would win, who would lose, and how the sometimes whiny Anakin Skywalker would become the evil and considerably less whiny Darth Vader.

Through what are popularly known as "spoilers," many "Star Wars" fans have been sharing almost every shot and revelation found in the new flick, which George Lucas claims will be the final film in the "Star Wars" saga.

Though some filmgoers avoid learning the ins, outs, twists, turns and surprise endings of movies, other seek out every detail they can find, and few fans are as voracious as "Star Wars" fans.

When "The Empire Strikes Back" debuted in 1980, fans lined up, waiting with bated breath to learn the fates of Luke, Leia and the evil Empire.

Most audience members were shocked by the film's ironic and now notorious twist -- Darth Vader revealing he was Luke Skywalker's father.

That piece of information -- something that if you knew it before you saw the film, might ruin it -- is known as a spoiler, and the Internet has made it easy for everyone to find them.

Ask "Star Wars" fans if spoilers are good or bad, and you'll hear more opinions than there are creatures in the Mos Eisley Cantina -- where Luke, Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi began their adventure nearly 30 years ago.

"Some people care about the flavor of a movie, the characters, that sort of thing, and some people care about what happens next," said Michael Isbell, a writer known as Mr. Sheldrake on the popular entertainment news Web site Ain't It Cool News. "For the 'what happens next' crowd, the spoilers are killer if you find out about them."

Ain't It Cool News relies on a network of informants who go to film screenings, work on movie sets or for movie studios. They receive everything from casting rumors to unauthorized images and videos straight from the sets of movies still in production.

They are careful to warn readers of potential spoilers in their stories, so as not to upset those who would rather wait until opening day to find out what happens.