And so we will finally come to a close. Revenge of the Sith emerges on Thursday and throngs of dorks and basement-folk (present company included) will finally get closure. For me though, it is sadly a different kind of closure.
When The Phantom Menace came out, I was at the head of all the lines. I didn’t camp out at all, but I was the guy who got up at 5am to get in line, right behind the campers…for tickets and for the viewing. For weeks, I poured over all my books and watched all my untainted videos. I was giddy. And what did I get for all my patients, faith and devotion? I was rewarded with Jar Jar Binks. Thanks a lot, George. That was just what a brother had been waiting 20 years for. Granted, there was some stuff in that movie that was crackin’ good stuff, but Jar Jar single handedly killed that movie. (Or perhaps it was single flipperedly; I don’t really recall what his appendage was.)
So three years later Attack of the Clones comes out. Enough time had passed and was able to lick my wounds and come out kicking. I waited in all the lines again…right behind the campers again. I even blatantly told my boss that I would not be coming in to work that day. (He granted me this request, but only for the price of buying him a ticket to the show.) Attack of the Clones was a marked improvement from it’s bastard predecessor. Though Hayden Christiansen was painful as Anakin and the dialog between Amidala and Anakin was brutal to endure, we were treated to such awesome things as Obi-Won on Planet Camino, Christopher Lee as the apprentice Sith and the pinnacle of cinema, the Yoda lightsaber battle. So in the end, we either came out even, or perhaps a bit ahead. In either case, still not enough to make up for Jar Jar Binks.
So now, it is three years after Attack of the Clones and we are on the eve of the Prequel finale, Revenge of the Sith. All my loyalty is spent. Lucas and I are even. I did not wait in line for tickets weeks ahead. I bought them only today online. I will not be attending the first showing, though I will see it on opening day. I will not be seeking out the theater with the best digital equipment, but rather I will simply go to the closest theater.
Star Wars outsiders may still see these actions as fanatical, but I assure you they are quite tame by Star Wars standards. If you don’t believe me, take a drive around some of the bigger theaters and you will see the campers are already there. And if you have a hard time finding the campers (sometimes the theaters sequester them out of sight), just ask the Storm Trooper holding a bag of Del Taco where they are. He’ll point you in the right direction.
From all I’ve seen in advertisements thus far, I have a theory. One of the books I have is an annotated book of scripts from the first three movies. In this, all the original ideas from the Return of the Jedi story are all scraped due to budget or technology limitations. Some of these ideas include visiting the wookie planet (this ended being the cursed Ewok moon), and a huge lightsaber finale between Luke and Darth Vader on some sort of lava filled sith planet. Many of the ideas seemed like good ones and begs the question: Would Return of the Jedi not have turned out so lame if Lucas’ original ideas were pursued? So my theory is this – I think Revenge of the Sith is going to be in many ways what Lucas had originally intended Return of the Jedi to be.
So am I jaded? Maybe. Do I still have high hopes? Not really. Am I excited to see the movie? Absolutely. Rest assured that I will be watching all of the movies again before Thursday. And I will certainly be cracking open my annotated screenplays book again to test my theory.
Come on Mr. Lucas. Make me eat my words. Make me regret my lackadaisical approach to this final Star Wars film. Come on, I DARE YOU!