One of the greatest aspects of science fiction is that the genre raises so many fascinating questions. Is there life on other planets? Are we alone in the universe? Do androids dream of electric sheep? And, most importantly, will it be possible to avoid substantive, potentially movie-ruining spoilers about Star Wars: The Force Awakens before it opens in theaters nationwide on December 18 in 3-D, Real D 3-D, and IMAX 3-D? While those other queries may never receive fully satisfying responses, the answer to that last query is “just maybe,” thanks to the Star Wars Spoiler Blocker, a Google Chrome extension developed by JitBit and available in the Chrome web store. The product’s overview claims that it “blurs a page if Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers are detected.” In such an eventuality, a screen like this will appear:
And how well does the Spoiler Blocker work? According to Mashable’s Pete Pachal, not very. “It doesn’t just block spoilers,” Pachal complains, “but any mention of Star Wars, and in practice that means virtually any news site you navigate to gets blocked.” That sounds impractical at first. But could the Spoiler Blocker be useful to those who simply want to edit Star Wars out of their lives and their internet experiences entirely? Guess again, young Padawan. “It takes a few seconds for the blocker to engage,” Pachal writes, “which is plenty of time to scan a page and potentially get spoiled by an indiscreet headline.” Perhaps, then, the takeaway lesson is that the avoidance of Star Wars spoilers, much like learning the ways of a Jedi, is a rare and delicate art form and is not conducive to shortcuts.