M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Thursday, May 16, 2002  

In case it’s not already apparent, I’m a huge geek. I have every episode of Buffy on tape. For years, I used the names of Doctor Who cast members as my network passwords at the office. The high point of my last trip to Vegas was The Star Trek Experience. So where do you suppose I was at 12:01 this morning, when the lights went down on the first local sceening of Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones?

That’s right. I was in bed, sound asleep.

Three years ago, I heard a reviewer say this about Phantom Menace: “It’s like the air quality advisories they have in Los Angeles. The quality might be poor, but that isn’t going to stop anyone from breathing it.” Hence, I was present for the 12:03 a.m. showing. I went again that weekend. And I’ve been pissed off about the entire franchise ever since.

I knew Episode II would have to be better, so for a while I was actually looking forward to it. At the same time, I’ve scrupulously avoided every single media item about the film and the series itself, in the hope that maintaining total spoiler viginity will improve the chances that I might not hate it when I see it. I’m actually amazed at how successful I’ve been at avoiding the media deluge. I had totally forgotten that Jimmy Smits is even in the thing until my Entertainment Weekly fell open on his picture, and if you say the name “Jango” to me, I’m going to think of a dead guitarist.

The weird thing is that somewhere along the way, my feigned indifference towards the movie became actual indifference. How else to explain that I didn’t even know when the movie was opening until last week?

As much as it irritates me that the Star Wars line of products includes a “Masterpiece Edition” action figure of at least one “character” whom I’ve never seen before (“Expanded Universe?” Sorry, not buying it. In any sense), I’m not as bitter as, say, David Brin is about the whole thing. I’m not even as ambivalent as Aaron McGruder is. But even the fact that I care so little would have been unthinkable to me three years ago. Fifteen years ago, it would have been blasphemy. Twenty-five years ago, I’d hang myself before I claimed my independence from the whole phenomenon.

It’s a little sad, as if part of my childhood is dead. I’ll never anticipate another movie as much as I did The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi, let alone The Phantom Menace. Those days are gone forever.

But on the other hand, it’s kind of liberating. Last night I celebrated by playing two straight hours of Jedi Knight II.

It’s good to be free.

posted by M. Giant 3:42 PM 0 comments


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