More often than not, Lucasfilm tries to hold back as much information as possible for their upcoming projects. A majority of their teasers and trailers attempt to reveal only a taste of their films, holding back major plot points let alone spoilers. But everyone makes mistakes, and Lucasfilm is no different.
Occasionally, whether it be through marketing or merchandise, too much information slips out to the public. Since the early days of Star Wars, trailers, toys, and posters alike have gone so far as to spoil major plot points. Below are just a small selection of Star Wars' significant slip-ups.
Though he's not a lead player, Biggs Darklighter is undoubtedly a fan favorite. Luke's best friend on Tattooine, Biggs went on to join the rebellion and sadly perish during the Death Star Trench Run in A New Hope. An essential and devastating moment for Luke, you would think the marketing would hold back this moment for audiences.
Well, in a surprising move, the first TV Spots for the original Star Wars thought it would fine to include this moment. Bigg's death is shown completely, mustache and all. In the lead up for this film, no one would have given the character much mind. But the minute Biggs appears on Yavin, anyone who saw the teaser would know he's toast.
Not a major spoiler, especially given the title, but Vader's appearance on Cloud City is one of the most surprising moments in The Empire Strikes Back. Like Han, Leia, and Chewie, no one expected to see Vader sitting at the end of that table on Bespin. No one, except those who saw it in the original TV Spots that is.
Once again, the older era of Star Wars was a little looser in its marketing strategy. This scene was thrown right in with most of The Empire Strikes Back TV Spots, and although its inclusion doesn't directly spoil Vader's plan, definitely ruins the surprise of seeing him at all.
Sometimes it's not always footage that spoils a movie. When it comes to a film series like Star Wars which relies so heavily on merchandising, toys can easily spoil essential plot points and twists. When The Phantom Menace toys were released, one figure spoiled a vital reveal for the film.
Multiple figures spoiled the reveal that Padme was actually the queen. While some toys only referred to Padme by her covert name, others flat out gave away the fact that she was Queen. This moment was a crucial bonding moment that cemented the alliance between the Gungans and the Naboo. The moment should have been revealed by the film, and not by a plastic action figure.
Both misleading and a spoiler, a TV Spot for The Last Jedi included the scene where Rey wields Kylo Ren's lightsaber. Imagine never seeing this moment before the film, and how powerful it would have been to see it for the first time on the big screen. The inclusion of this moment completely spoiled a great moment, but what's worse is it is intentionally misleading. In no way would people believe Rey would turn to the Dark Side. The trailers themselves were intriguing enough. In trying to confuse and shock, this scene only felt like a gimmick.
Similar to the previous examples, the TV Spots for Return of the Jedi were not spoiler-free friendly. In the film, a crucial mission is the destruction of the second Death Star. Lando and the rebels make the daring journey which is a critical sequence in the finale. Sadly, the TV Spots spoil the ending once again.
Multiple Spots featured the explosion of the second Death Star's core, as well as Lando's signature yell. Most people expected a happy ending for their heroes, but no one wants it blatantly spoiled. It is a shame that many of those kids who saw these spots had such a pivotal moment ruined.
Star Wars, being the worldwide phenomena that it is, has to appeal to a global audience. Occasionally, these differing marketing strategies let out a few too many hints and spoilers. In the lead-up to The Last Jedi, one international poser spoiled a significant aspect of the climactic duel.
The poster features all of the major players, including Luke Skywalker who is brandishing his iconic blue lightsaber. Many fans theorized whether Luke would use a saber at all, but most guessed if he had he would use his signature green blade from Return of the Jedi. This poster went and spoiled it all by presenting Luke front and center with his old weapon.
Topps has been producing trading cards for Star Wars since A New Hope premiered in 1977. Many fans recall fond memories of opening these packs of cards and sharing with friends. Sadly, some fans probably remember these cards also spoiling The Empire Strikes Back. Specifically, a card released before the film spoiled the fate of Han Solo in the movie, presenting him face up frozen in carbonite. Imagine opening up a pack of trading cards only to have them ruin the plot to an incredibly anticipated new movie. Once again, this was a massive blow to fans who should have first been surprised in the theater. Spoilers belong in the cinema, not on trading cards.
In The Force Awakens, Rey's force ability was left unsaid till the finale. At that moment, the lightsaber of Anakin and Luke Skywalker flew into her hands, signaling her as the new protagonist of the sequel trilogy. Unfortunately, such a monumental event was left spoiled after a toy release revealed she would inherit the weapon.
Once again, the Hasbro team let audiences down. This spoiler is arguably worse than the Padme one. Rey's journey to becoming a Jedi was the entire crux of her arc. This was the titular awakening of the whole film and one that should have remained a closely guarded secret.
Some might consider it obvious, but not everyone knew Chancellor Palpatine was the undercover Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Sure, mostly anyone who was anyone knew his identity, but technically speaking it had not been officially confirmed in the films. Revenge of the Sith had a lot of questions it had to answer. But right off the bat, the theatrical trailer revealed the true identity of Palpatine.
The moment Mace Windu and his fellow Masters confront Palpatine was front and center in the official trailer. Even if a majority of the audience knew it was coming, it would have been nice to see the turn happy in the theaters first.
In this history of Star Wars, no spoiler is more infamous than this. Before the release of The Phantom Menace, the original score composed by John Williams was released to the public. Usually, soundtrack releases are held back until the film is released to avoid incidents just like this. One of the tracks' name spoiled the fate of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Titled "Qui-Gon's Noble End" the track came near the very end of the album, signaling not only that Qui-Gon wouldn't survive the film, but also when exactly it would happen. Nerds have avoided tracklists ever since.