By Steven Smith
Did everyone have a great May the 4th? Did we all nerd it up to eleven? Man, I hope so, because though I sometimes feel the fervor of “Star Wars” fandom has reached Trekker-level proportions, I’m a proud fan boy with an original copy of “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye” who never tires of a good Mon Mothma costume. Thought I was going to say Slave Leia, didn’t you? I should have. I really should have.
When I was a kid, Star Wars Day was everyday. The first film was in theaters for a full year and I saw it no less than twelve times, most of them with my father. He and I don’t have much in common, we still don’t, but “Star Wars” was common ground and I have fond memories of standing in line with him to see “The Empire Strikes Back.” We were 300th and got inside in less than a half hour, as every theater was playing “Empire.” I don’t remember talking about the ending with him but I do recall being absolutely flabbergasted in the car on the way home. We saw it two more times, and each viewing I kept wishing for something else to happen, for what actually happened to not to be true. That’s the testament to a good film, you know what’s going to happen the second time you see it but you really hope something changes.
Then the market exploded. “Star Wars” toys literally were everywhere, and I was playing with them every day. Therefore, George Lucas made mad merch money, lightened up his saga, and “Ewoks: Battle for Endor” was born. About this time, I started lightening up on the toys, except for the B-Wing fighter, that ship was badass AND IN THE SHAPE OF A T!
I kept up on the comics for a bit. Marvel’s original origin of Boba Fett is still way way WAAAAAY better than the Australian accented dreck we have to deal with today. Every Stormtrooper is a clone of Boba Fett basically. LAME. Don’t toy with my bounty hunter, George…I have the second edition. First one was mail order and it got recalled.
Now Jedi is a recognized religion, which is funny but also a bit wonky. Jedi’s are basically monks who can’t marry so if you dress as a Jedi at your wedding, then you can’t go through with it? Makes no sense, which is how I feel about the prequels. You really can’t go home again and though they spawned a great cartoon series in “Clone Wars.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when I was a kid, no one wanted to be Darth Vader. He was the bad guy, a cool bad guy nonetheless but everyone wanted to be Luke or Han, though I must give mad props to the character of Princess Leia, she was one of two women in the Holy Trilogy and she managed to kick major ass in all three films.
And the power of the first three is why I salute all those who celebrated May 4th and where I challenge all fans of the prequels to sum up each episode in 140 characters. Try it, I dare you.
May the force be with you.
You can watch Steven Smith every Sunday — and right now! — on the weekly MTV Geek series “Cooking With Thrones.”