I stood in line all night to see the Phantom Menace. I remember enjoying the experience immensely. People were dressed up as storm troopers and Jedis and I think there was even a few Jawas there. We played games and had trivia contests. We were all so happy and optimistic right up until the crawl started and we met the greedy trade federation and their dispute over the taxation of trade routes. What was this? Where is the period of civil war, the dark time for the rebellion, the . . . ok, Jedi’s opening crawl was kinda lame, but at least it had a vile gangster. I should have known at that moment to pull my heart off of my sleeve and hide it back inside my Empire Strikes Back lunchbox. That crawl was C-3PO desperately trying to tell Han that the hyperdrive was broken. I should have known it wouldn’t work. Hyperdrives don’t come with warranties.
Now we are here again. I’m so irrationally excited for The Force Awakens that I don’t even care if it rips my heart out. I slobber over teaser trailers and interviews with J.J. Abrams. I watch the trailer frame by frame and try to make out if that really is the same cyborg hand Luke had at the end of Empire. I want to be amazed, J.J. Abrams. I’m in. What’s that C-3PO? Something about the hyperdrive? Nonsense. It’s totally going to work this time.
What the hell is wrong with me? Can’t I just be a normal person and forget about this damn movie until it actually opens in a movie theater? Of course I can’t. Star Wars is intertwined with my youth. It’s too personal to me, and to most Star Wars fans, to just be blasé about it. It’s more fun to care about Star Wars, to revel in its idiosyncrasies, to open our vulnerable little fan boy hearts to it.
Sometime soon I’ll stand outside a movie theater in the middle of the night and play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit and this time I’ll lose to a twelve year old because he loves the damn prequels and knows the name of the planet where Count Dooku fought Yoda. I’m ok with that. The anticipation, the dread, the excitement; it’s all part of the Star Wars experience. So wind me up. Tease me with more clips of storm troopers and X-Wings. Because when you really need it, when you’ve just snatched a one handed Luke from the bottom of cloud city, just before Darth Vader can wrap his tractor beam around the Falcon, R2-D2 is going to fix that hyperdrive.
Punch it Chewie.