THE STAR WARS REPORT: FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW

COME TO THE DORK SIDE

Confession time: I’ve seen Episode I four times. Oh, I know it doesn’t sound all that bad. And in and of itself, I suppose it’s not that big a deal. What makes this particular situation so damning is that all four of those viewings took place in one 24-hour period during opening day. First, there was the obligatory midnight screening, which I attended with several of my fellow faithful. Next, I hit a 10 AM screening (solo this time, the better to digest the experience). Then there was a 2 PM show with some other of my friends who were unable to come at midnight. Finally, there was a 7:00 session with some people from my old job.

Technically, I guess that’s less than 24 hours. How embarrassing.

In retrospect, multiple viewings were really necessary to confirm the sneaking suspicion that started gnawing at my gut at roughly 12:15 AM that first showing: that “Episode I” was a soul-crushing exercise in poor acting, hammy writing, and unfettered digital self-indulgence. More than that, though, it proves the depth of the “Star Wars” fan’s sickness. I should have gone straight to the box office at 2:30 that morning, gotten a refund on my remaining tickets, and warned everyone I cared about to stay away.

But no, the nature of our psychosis is such that we have an almost pathological need to share our misery with others. It’s also probably one of the reasons “Star Wars” fans rank only slightly higher than Trekkers (and slightly lower than Monty Python aficionados) on the Geek Hierarchy of Shame. It isn’t enough that the movie be good, we have to let everyone know how good it is, and if it’s bad…then by Jove we’re going to make somebody sit through it with us so they’ll feel our pain.

I’d end up seeing “Revenge of the Sith” even if I wasn’t going to review it, but review it I will, and I’m reasonably sure it’s going to be one of the hardest I’ve had to write in my brief career as an internet crank/film critic. I get to try to distill months and years of anticipation, combined with the weight of 2 ½ decades of expectation, into something that will essentially say “it sucks” or “it rules.” I’ve become (and any of the regular readers of this column would hopefully concur) more sanguine about these films that have served as backdrop to so many things in my life, and the scales have fallen from my eyes in a lot of ways. But when I see those flashes of the lightsaber duel on Mustafar, part of me goes back to being that dorky kid from 1977. All I can promise is to do my best in giving an honest assessment of the film when I see it.

And man do I hope it doesn’t suck.

Every week, Pete Vonder Haar will be examining the doings and transpirings in the world of Star Wars as we slouch towards the release of Episode III…

Read the next installment in THE STAR WARS REPORT: THIS IS THE END, BEAUTIFUL FRIEND>>>




Posted on May 2, 2005 in Features by
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