Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Miscellaneous: My Star Wars History

My friend Mike asked me about REVENGE OF THE SITH. (BTW, it was indeed John G. who declared No Sleep ‘Til Anne Murray. Who else?) I might as well admit the truth.

I haven’t seen EPISODE III. And I don’t intend to. I resisted the movie and its promise of air conditioning during a freakish stint of plus-85 degree temperatures, so that should prove my resolve.

Herewith, my Star Wars history.

STAR WARS – I get into my first playground brawl for insisting that CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND is a better movie, an opinion I hold to this day.

Don’t get me wrong. I like STAR WARS. It was the first film I saw in the theater more than once. But while everybody else was obsessing over Luke or Chewbacca (a fixation I never understood), I was strictly a Han Solo man. “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” Preach on, Brother Solo.

While my classmates watched the movie for the umpteenth time, I reread Brian Daley’s Solo trilogy. All Han all the time.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK – The first sign that I’m not a true fan: I didn’t see this movie until its re-release a few weeks before RETURN OF THE JEDI. It just never occurred to me to go.

It’s got some great Han Solo moments. But it’s also where we meet Yoda.

And I hate Yoda. There, I said it.

A few months after the movie came out, we were able to write original STAR WARS stories to fulfill a class assignment. That’s right: course credit for fanfic. I pinpoint this as the moment when society lost its way.

RETURN OF THE JEDI – I went on opening day like everybody else from school, then again a few days later to confirm what at the time came as a shock: I didn’t like it, even though all my friends did. I felt bitter and alone. As usual.

THE INTERREGNUM – I get into several arguments in college for insisting that MAD MAX is a better trilogy, an opinion I hold to this day. I haven’t watched any title from Lucas’ original trilogy in over 20 years. Whereas I’ve enjoyed AMERICAN GRAFFITI repeatedly and become a huge fan of THX1138.

THE PHANTOM MENACE – I go late in the run out of a sense of obligation. I wait in vain for a Han Solo figure who will ask, “You don’t actually believe this crap, do you?” I realize that movie actually does believe this crap.

ATTACK OF THE CLONES – Haven’t seen a minute of it.

REVENGE OF THE SITH – Does sitting through the ads featuring Darth, Yoda and Chewie hawking fast food and M&Ms count?

Oh, well. I hear INDIANA JONES IV is coming along nicely.