May 19, 2009
Off Topic: Ten Years Ago, George Lucas Ruined Star Wars
Remember how goddamned cool you thought that was? Don't try to lie and say you didn't have high expectations for the first Star Wars prequel after seeing that shit in late 1998. Back then, I was in full-on obsession mode about A NEW STAR WARS MOVIE! OUR Star Wars movie! Woooo! I was 24, and wrapping up my graduate studies at Western. In my apartment above the old 3B Tavern in downtown Bellingham, the walls were festooned with posters for a MOVIE I HADN'T FUCKING SEEN YET!
This was before the days of fandango, etc... So we got in line at 6 am to buy tickets to the first Midnight showing at Bellis Fair Mall. At just after 1 pm, a few hundred lucky nerds (myself included) snagged tickets to what was supposed to be the cinematic event of our lifetimes.
I vividly remember the carnival-like atmosphere in the theater; tons of people dressed up (including people dressed up like Darth Maul... Cripes, you haven't seen the movie. What if you don't like that character?), lightsabre fights in the aisles, etc. When the movie started, the opening blast of John Williams' score got a roar of approval worthy of a goal line stand at the old Kingdome... It was all down hill from there.
I'm not going to bullshit y'all. I didn't realize the movie sucked at first. I was on such a high from seeing a NEW STAR WARS movie that it wasn't until about half-way through the 3rd time I saw it in the theater that it dawned on me that "hey... this kinda sucks."
Yeah, the big lightsabre fight at the end was sweet, and the podrace was somewhat entertaining, but that was about it. I was still there on opening day for Episodes II and III, and while both had their moments (I honestly think Revenge of the Sith was an above average film overall), the whole prequel enterprise was a crushing let down.
I plan to get my son into Star Wars, but only the right way: He's going to watch Star Wars, Empire and Jedi loooong before I let him gaze upon the prequels... and they're going to be the theatrical versions, y'all.
I guess I should somehow link this back to football: Maybe this is a cautionary tale about holding on too long. How much greater would George Lucas' reputation be if he had just never made these three films? Brett Favre (and maybe even Mike Holmgren) might want to take this lesson to heart: It's better to quit too early than get fired too late.
I'll leave you with Patton Oswalt's hilarious anti-Prequels rant: