We all love Star Wars, right?

I missed Star Wars Day on the blog, you guys. I have failed you and I apologize. Guess I just didn’t notice the date. Which tends to happen when one does not have a grownup job. I’m so excited that Star Wars Day exists. And I love a clever holiday. May 4th? May the fourth be with you? Get it? (The Catholic response of course is “And also with you,” which makes me giggle but probably not many other people.) And if you really nerded it up and threw a Star Wars party, your hangover would be revenge of the fifth. Hyuck hyuck.

What can I say about Star Wars that hasn’t been said? It’s been over thirty years since the first movie, and the franchise has probably the most rabid fan base in the history of fan bases (rivaled only by Trekkers). The Star Wars conversation goes on all day every day. What can I contribute? Meh, not much. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan. I’m not being blasé about my dedication to the cult of Lucas, just about my ability to bring something interesting to the table here. So I’ll fall back on my old reliable position of telling you everything about my experience with a thing instead of my deep thoughts on a thing. Cue the wigglyfuzzy flashback indicator segue things.

The inter-trilogy period was a really exciting time to be a fan. When the remaster of Star Wars (I refuse to call it Episode IV, just deal with it) came out, we were still in late-90’s awe of CG so the new effects were mind blowing. That concept seems so quaint now. And with each re-release, the hype for the prequels just built and built and built. Nerds were frothing at the mouth. We counted down the days on a big wall calendar at the comic book shop. May 19, 1999. It was a Wednesday, which is weird. I don’t think I’ve ever been to another opening-night showing on a Wednesday. My best friend and I hit up the midnight showing and the next day we cut school and went again with his mom (who had called out sick from work to take us – best nerdmom ever). The owner of the movie theater in the next town was a tremendous fan and had spent his life’s savings to renovate the theater just for this movie. He had the George Lucas sound system put in (500-gallon tank of water behind the screen to catch the low bass? Fuck yeah). He came out before every single showing to introduce the movie dressed as a Jedi, light saber in hand. That’s dedication to fandom, folks. Awesome guy. Everybody was in costume, we cheered when the crawl started, people were crying, it was fangirl heaven. One of my all-time favorite moviegoing moments.

And then something happened, a weird trick of my fandom. I can’t really put my finger on it, but at some point between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, and then even more noticeably between that one and Revenge of the Sith (you get that hangover joke now, don’t you?), the series lost its appeal. There was no more tortured waiting, no more giddy anticipation. Make no mistake, I saw them all. I enjoyed them all. But there was just something missing. I may very well be a nostalgia junkie here, looking at the first trilogy more fondly because I so loved them in my childhood. (It happens. I’m a sap, really, despite this crusty exterior of cynicism.) I can rationalize it that way. I guess maybe I felt like this thing I loved had been stepped on a little. Getting used to computer animation and special effects probably had a lot to do with it, as well. Once the novelty wears off, all the flash and bang, the tendency of fans is always going to be to analyze the movie not on its own merits, but by comparing it to the originals. Any sequel or reboot is subject to that kind of geeky scrutiny, and Star Wars fans are some of the most obsessive people I’ve ever met.

So I won’t say I don’t like the new ones, but I’ve only seen them a few times each. I’ve seen the first trilogy a million billion times. It never gets old. I never get tired of it. They’re witty and fun, exciting but without melodrama, and surprisingly not cheesy (although a case could be made that they are cheesy and I just ignore it). There’s a bit of a generation gap amongst fans because of this. Younger folks, at least in my experience, tend to like the newer movies more. Older fans appreciate the new ones but have a stronger, more established love for the originals. And of course there are those freaks who love all six equally. Weirdos.

This is a horrible way to wrap this up, but if you’re a Star Wars fan, you absolutely have to watch the movie Fanboys. It’s a love song to exactly this period of time that I’m talking about. Super funny, tons of cameos. A silly, irreverent homage to the movies and the fans. Check it out. And go watch Star Wars again. It’s always going to be good.

3 thoughts on “We all love Star Wars, right?

  1. One weekend, before we had kids, Calvin and I watched all six Star Wars films in order (of the storyline). Long, lazy day. Have you ever noticed how George Lucas looks like an ewok?

  2. Well, I guess I am a “weirdo” because I love all the movies. I am a techy so the graphics work in I-III are awesome as well as the in-depth sound effects. I think those episodes are WONDERFUL stories and really bring out what made Darth Vader, Darth Vader. I definitely love the old ones as well because hey, they fricken rock! One thing for sure I would like to say is FUCK YOU to all the cry baby assholes that bitched and moaned about Anikan killing the young-lings in Episode III. If it was up to me, they would have went all out with it and actually showed him wiping the little shits out. I mean, come the fuck on people! That is part of his true darkness falling upon him. ANYWAY, I do have a pretty kick ass Star Wars story. When Episode II came out, my best friend and I took a trip to Cedar Point (it is an amusement park in Ohio. Only the greatest roller coaster experience to be had in the world) while heavily induced on an acid trip. We actually decided to go to Cedar Point at about 2AM during the peak, funny and fun. So, we drove up 6 hours with a head full of acid and a grand idea in the works. It was going to be opening night for Episode II when we got there!!!! We arrived and dropped some more cid and hit the park hardcore! I rode the Millennium Force ( I loved it because I always called it the Millennium Falcon and being in the state of mind I was in, it was about like riding the Millennium Falcon) a good 30 times that day. Then, that night it was on! Time for Episode II with a head full of acid and a days worth of roller coasters! However, after the park closed we had a lot of time to kill so we went back to the hotel and was going to smoke up and watch tv until the show started late night. WE FELL ASLEEP!!! Hey, I mean I had been up for a couple days so I really couldn’t help it. The next day we woke up like, Whaaaaattt the fuck happened man? We decided to drop some more hits, hit the park, and see the 1PM show. Let me tell you, PHENOMENAL! Absolutely, positively, mother fucking insane and wonderful! Actually, if I had time I could tell you an acid trip story for all three of the new movies but I don’t have enough time. GREAT TIMES, GREAT TIMES. Those where the days, no worries and acid trips when I wanted. That is the great thing about acid, it really isn’t addictive. After time, you see what you need to see. You learn what you need to learn about life. You go places you need to go. Then, your mind is finished and you don’t want or need to do it anymore. I still love it and would do it once a year if I could get it, but God hasn’t dropped a strip of cid in my lap so I guess I’m just shit out of luck. 🙂

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