8

When Luke arrives on Dagobah, there is a big show of him prejudging Yoda based on appearance and assuming he cannot be "the great warrior" he seeks.

Was this spoiled for theatre-goers in 1980 by trailers, toys or other marketing material, either by name or by the prevalence of the Muppet, or was there an effort to preserve the revelation?

7

Yoda's name and his presence in the film as a force-user (involved in Luke's training) were both "spoiled" in advance of the film's release.

Original Theatrical Trailer

This (japanese) album insert was released in April 1980, approximately one month before the film hit cinema screens and shows Yoda's name. It's one of a variety of examples found in the Star Wars Scrapbook which includes a great deal of pre-release material from both 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Revenge of the Jedi'

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You may also wish to note that the paperback release of the film's official novelisation was 13 days before the film received a general release so it's perfectly possible to have read the book before seeing the film.

  • nice job. I wouldn't really count reading a faithful novelization before the film's release, because if you read it, you'd expect it to ruin any revelations, and you can't exactly accidentally read a book. But it is noted. – ThePopMachine Dec 30 '16 at 16:01
  • @ThePopMachine - You'd really have to go out of your way to read the sleeve notes on a special edition soundtrack album too :-) – Valorum Dec 30 '16 at 16:09
  • Remember that in those days, the internet & YouTube didn't exist, so the number of people outside Japan who could tie "Yoda" to the little green guy was probably almost nil. And if the novel counts as a spoiler, then yeah the entire movie was spoiled -- but only for those few who bought the novel in those first two weeks... no internet for the rest of us to learn what they'd read. That leaves the few seconds of the movie trailer. WE see Yoda and, knowing the story, think "yeah it's all spoiled right there." WITHOUT knowing what we do, & without the ability to replay it on YouTube, less so. – Ralph J Dec 30 '16 at 16:21
  • @RalphJ - Even in this age of communication, the general audience for films (95% of their viewers at the cinema) won't have heard or read anything about the movie other than adverts, trailers, posters and puff-pieces. – Valorum Dec 30 '16 at 16:24
  • @Valorum, agreed. But theatrical trailer FTW. – ThePopMachine Dec 30 '16 at 17:58

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