One year, I knew exactly which toys I was getting for Christmas before hand. It was the worst Christmas ever, and I’ve had subsequent Christmases with a desk tree and a $20 spending limit.
People have no patience so the wrapping paper has to be torn and examined and we have to shake all of the presents.
We anticipated the reveal of the Star Wars Episode VII cast into something like Christmas Day and then we wrecked it with our gnawing curiosity.
“Is it here?”
“How much longer?”
But in the end, every rumor felt like a peek in the closet and an attempt to decipher what each present was before it was time, so while I smiled when I saw Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill sitting in that room, thinking to myself that this is special and that it now it feels real, I also realized that it feels less special than it should have and now I’m trying to remember who this constantly repeated cycle helps in the long run.
Even if someone managed to find out the exact composition of the cast a month ago, would we have felt any differently about it then than we do now? Would we get to see the movie any sooner? The movie is the point, isn’t it? The point of all the casting rumors and the script rumors and the title rumors — the whole is what matters, not the pieces, and nothing is going to nudge that forward with a big reveal.
We’re killing time and we’re filling space when sites like this cover these rumors, but what choice do we have? From a practical standpoint, all of these sites are pressed up against each other fighting for views and legitimacy, so who are any of us to bow out of covering the biggest story of any one day? Besides that, people clearly want to read this stuff. Yeah, it’s the kind of cereal that will rot your teeth out, but you’re an adult and I’m not your nanny.
If we do our jobs well, though, we’re not just presenting this information with breathless enthusiasm as we sell false faith. Saying, “Take this with a grain of salt” feels a bit cliche, but that little phrase does more than let me get through the task of telling you that someone told someone else that Ryan Gosling might be in Star Wars; it reminds the reader to have doubt and suspicion. It alerts you to not get too excited about these rumors because while they can be fun and interesting, they are often worthless fluff.
This just in…
Maisie Richardson Sellers
Matthew James Thomas
Michael B. Jordan
Billy D. Williams
… will not be in Star Wars Episode VII, even though all were, at one time or another, linked to the film or said to be in “talks” or a “target”. There’s another list of prospective directors from before JJ Abrams got the job, but I think you get the point, and hopefully you’ll remember this list when you see someone take an Adam Driver or John Boyega rumor victory lap.