Remembering Star Wars

“It’s all true…”

Star Wars means so many different things to so many different people…to most, it is a joyous reunion with their inner child, a time when things were simple and good. To others it is the the age old tale of good versus evil…of a fall from grace and ultimate redemption…

to me, Star Wars is now this.

It wasn’t always this way. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was quite the Star Wars fanatic. It would give me those feelings of butterflies in my stomach that can only really be associated with something one truly loves and the ultimate joy it brings. Every single day after school I would throw my THX remastered edition VHS into my fancy Hi-Fi, auto tracking VCR and be whisked away entirely to another world for 2 hours.

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As I got older and my passion for film grew, I got a job working at a small 3 screen theater in Salem, NH. It was truly wonderful, I slung popcorn and got to see free movies anytime I wanted. It was heaven. Then one day, a new trailer and promotions came in for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. I was so excited! That trailer! Those images of young Anakin casting a shadow of Darth Vader! I must have snuck in at least a hundred times before every show and watched that trailer. I was ready. Then, the damndest thing happened, on May 19th, 1999, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace came out and it made me hate Star Wars forever.

I managed to see an early screening on May 18th, with my friend and now Birth. Movies. Death. contributor, Brian Collins. We were both so wide eyed and nervous with anticipation as the words Star Wars slowly rolled back and that iconic theme song triumphantly blasted in glorious surround sound. That nervous feeling started to dissipate almost immediately as a plot synopsis about trade disputes started to scroll down the screen…annnnnd anyone who has actually seen Episode 1 knows how the rest of this goes.

After it was over, Brian and I both were disgusted. How could ANYTHING, let alone a Star Wars film be so terrible? Crowds of people waiting on line over night disapproved of our speaking ill of this new Star Wars film. How dare we blaspheme the latest story in such an iconic series? Well, because it sucked. Really, really hard.

After Episode 1, two further abominations were made, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. These CG bloated, poorly acted, terribly scripted pieces of Midi-chlorian loaded Bantha poodoo, only further drove me from Star Wars. The prequels were and still are, unforgivable pieces of garbage.

My disdain for Star Wars continued to grow as the promise of new higher resolution media came out and Lucas decided that the best way to give Star Wars fans the ultimate in quality, would be to CG a bunch of nonsense into every single film and make that the ONLY way you could watch it. To this day, there still is no official version of an HD Star Wars that doesn’t include Greedo shooting first, or a song and dance routine in Jabba’s palace. I could no longer even take refuge in the original films. Ugh.

Which brings us to 2015, Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens is right around the corner and everyone is losing their mind. If there is a fan base more forgiving than your average Star Wars fan, I haven’t met them. It’s almost as if these people refuse to acknowledge the severe burn they have been consistently receiving as this once beloved franchise has been run into the ground.

I will admit that the new trailer has me interested, I won’t say excited, but certainly interested. It genuinely looks good and I certainly have to believe that the execs in charge of this one know with utmost certainty the prequel disdain has not been forgotten.

I won’t be seeing it on day one, or even week one. But I will see it. And who knows, maybe those butterflies will come back and I will feel warmer than a fuzzy Ewok hug on a hot summer day on Endor.

It does seem that the force is strong with this one.

-Sock Talk Jon-

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