May 19th, 1999

We all sat in the theater that day – shitting ourselves in anticipation.

I mean, you were a kid in the 70’s or 80’s, right? You knew the opening to Return of The Jedi as well as any song. You knew the names of all the random aliens that popped up in the Cantina scene in A New Hope. You had every line of dialogue memorized from the last 30 minutes of Empire.

Shit – you read the Heir to The Empire Trilogy MULTIPLE TIMES and referenced the characters from those in your AOL screen name(s).

Fuck you, I’m not projecting. Also, Noghri were bad ass.

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Noghri: like Wookies, but with ninja skills and face-eating.

Fifteen years on, a lesson’s engrained in my head. No matter how cool a movie looks, no matter how much you’ve been STARVING for your daydreams to become a reality.

NEVER GIVE INTO THE HYPE.

It was a hard lesson for me at 18. That’s in a lot of ways the absolute pinnacle of a nerd’s awkward years – the time when many of us either remain strange, quirky outcasts or choose to throw it all behind us to create something new of ourselves in college.

Let’s skip that part and just agree that the choices I made were…ill-advised.

So anyway, Phantom Menace.

It was a shit storm, but let’s not go with the fandom bullshit of being SO over it as soon as we watched the movie in theaters. Don’t play fucking coy. There’s no way a movie so hyped could be hated immediately, oh no, that had to set in.

I remember watching the movie. Sure, Jar Jar was a train wreck, but lightsabers! Alright, this whole Seperatist plot is…oooh, lightsabers. Naboo? What the fuck that have to do with, OH SNAP, DOUBLE-BLADED LIGHTSABER!

And we watched Qui Gon die and Darth Maul be awesome and the buzz lasted well after we left the theater. That was the focus – the means of maintaining the delusion that we hadn’t been caught hook, line, and sinker.

And that’s not George Lucas’ fault. It’s totally ours.

Nerds need to own it: WE are at fault for that shit show fifteen years back. We fell for it again when Yoda hopped around the room and then for a third time when it was all lightsabers everywhere for forty-five minutes.

Fucking lightsabers, huh?

Now we’re a year off from a sequel. An honest to God sequel to what still counts as a favorite and beloved trilogy.

What do we do?

Oh, we lose our fucking minds in the run up to release, of course, but let’s just remember to avoid getting so distracted again.

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If someone pops one of these out in Episode VII we’re FUCKED.

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