Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Jilted Lover I Am 

Why not? I got called Ben Kenobi all through elementary school.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when the first five blogs I checked had Star Wars related posts at the top.

The Force is with us all, whether we like it or not.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket. This upcoming Episode III seems to be the best of the recent SW movies. Sadly, that isn't saying too much. Forgive me for being a curmudgeon about the whole Star Wars mega-hype, but I speak as a jilted lover. I loved the original trilogy. My mom and I proudly own at three complete sets of the 1983 Burger King Return of the Jedi glasses:

The Burger King Return of the Jedi Glasses. Not a picture of my glasses, but you get the idea.Posted by Hello

I have the glasses, plus a bunch of toys and VHS copies of the Original Trilogy before George Lucas "improved" them. Still, I hold a grudge against the SW franchise. I was thrilled when Lucas re-released the Episodes IV, V, and VI in the theater, and I looked to the release of Phantom Menace as one of the most important movie-going experiences of my life. I even bought the soundtrack before I went to see the movie. Finally, a week after it opened, I saw the movie. Instead of the excitement and awe I felt as a kid when I first saw the landspeeder chase in Return of the Jedi, I got this:

Jar-jar "Jumping the Shark" BinksPosted by Hello

I didn't go into Phantom Menace completely naive. There was no way the movie could re-create the emotional impact of the Trilogy, or match its own uber-hype for that matter. But this was just too awful to bear. It's one thing for a movie to be disappointing on its own, but for it to contaminate childhood classics was just too much.

When Episode II was set to come out, I said to myself: "Ha! I got fooled once, I won't be suckered again." So I stayed home. That's right, I went from looking for that elusive Darth Maul Episode I action figure to refusing to see Attack of the Clones in a movie theater. I didn’t see Episode II until I watched a friend's DVD copy on his computer several years later.

So now we come to the end. Unless you were abducted by Sand People, it's impossible not to know Episode III is coming out this Friday Thursday. I just find it hugely grating that all the heroes and villains I remember so well, characters like Darth Vader and Chewbacca, are having to hock M&M and tacos. I just wish Darth Vader had the ability to force-choke the whole lot of people who have so shamelessly whored out the Star Wars franchise to every advertiser they could find.

The ones I feel most sorry for are those who are currently too young to see Revenge of the Sith in theaters. They will grow up, and likely watch the six movies in episode order. After Episode I, they will wonder what all the hype is about. By the time they get to Empire Strikes Back, they will already know about who Luke's father is, and there will be no surprise when Yoda is introduced. Even if the entire series is watched in the order of movie release, the most recently made episodes still hurt the original trilogy by comparison. In many ways, it seemed better to leave the events prior to A New Hope to the imagination.

I will probably go and see Revenge of the Sith, since it seems to have some kickass fight scenes, and lots of gratuitous violence. I won't be nearly as excited as some crazy fanatic fans, but I'll give George one last chance to get it right.

UPDATE: Whoops! Turns out I was mistaken about the movie's opening, which is midnight Thursday. I'm still going to wait unitl at least Friday next week to see it. And thanks to Deb and Ith for the links!

So are you actually Ben Kenobi or did you "force" it?
ahh! no more puns, or I'll have to stick a Vulcan on you for the illogic of it all!
Hey now, keep Star Trek out of it.
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