Nerd Factor: Spoilers Out of Nowhere

Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor

We were standing in line for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party when it happened.  “Oh, great!” my wife said, “I just had Captain Marvel spoiled for me!”  

I had been worried about spoilers before we left for Disney.  My Westover class’ trip to the parks departed on March 8th, the last day of classes before Spring Break.  Through pure coincidence, this was the same day that the next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuted on the big screen.

My family does not tend to hit movies on opening night any more. The crowds are a bit much, thanks, and I like matinee prices, particularly when I’m paying for the flick. However, we are usually a first weekend family for the big superhero films. Obviously though, we were having other adventures that weekend. Captain Marvel had to wait.  

My fear was that someone would spoil the movie while we were standing in line. Disney lines are well-known to be tests of endurance.  I had imagined a scenario in which some particularly exhausted kid would start blurting out plot details while dragging through the lines. The tragedy would be, I figured, that in youthful enthusiasm, this imaginary kid would say something the others with the kid already knew.  Or the kid would spout out lines or events from the movie. “Look at me Mommy, I’m Captain Marvel defeating this surprise mystery villain with some plot device this guy near us does not know!”

Three days into the trip and I had gotten cocky.  Nothing like that had happened at all. In fact, the oddest occurrence was the very strange women behind us in line as we waited to get onto the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  Those of us there at the time are still wondering what was going on with them. My theory was that they took some illegal substance and it kicked in over the time it took to get onto line.  I suppose a more charitable explanation might have been madness induced by too much sun. But anyway, as much as they shouted and yelled, they weren’t talking about Carol Danvers.

But, I had forgotten we were still vulnerable to electronic communication. And while I was not checking social media or email accounts, my wife had gotten a friendly inquiry about the movie. And apparently that person was just asking for our thoughts based upon our superhero expertise.  My wife saw the communique while we were waiting to get on the very old school Magic Kingdom ride.

By and large, it has been my experience that most people are careful about spoilers. I am not sharing this story because I am upset with someone.  Rather, I am sharing it because as Avengers: Endgame approaches, I want to encourage us all to be extra careful about accidentally revealing parts of the movie to others.  

This movie is going to be crazy long.  Three hours is the time I am hearing. It is going to take a while for people to get into showings. When viewers get through a movie that long, they may not be at their best.  

So let us all promise to be careful and ask first, “Have you seen Endgame yet?”  And if the answer is no, do not say anything more about any plot points.