2 Aug 2005

Missing the war

In another week or two, Revenge of the Sith will have gone. Already it's gone from the local cinemas. I'd have to go into Queen Street to see it.

I'm of the generation whose formative mythic archetypes flew X-Wings and TIE Fighters. Even now, the asthmatic wheeze of Darth Vader summons up evil for me. If someone's smart, they're Yoda. Is Yoda the patron saint of computer programmers? Probably. I've got a T-Shirt that suggests I graduated from the Jedi Academy.

And yet I haven't seen the latest movie. It's not that I've boycotted it. I'm not the raving fanboy who is going to claim that Lucas destroyed my childhood by making Greedo shoot first. I just...haven't got around to it.

True, now Emily and Abigail have come along we don't have quite as much disposable income. And movies are expensive these days. But I don't think that's the real reason. We still go to movies and I'm already making plans to see Sin City.

I suppose a big part of it is the Phantom Menace. I can still recall leaving our London flat and walking up to the cinema in Ealing. We'd prebooked our tickets and we were with friends who had been waiting for months to see it. The movie didn't play in the UK until months after it had been seen - and rejected - by the rest of the world. Still, we thought, how bad could it be? This was Star Wars after all.

Even more clearly I can remember walking home from the Phantom Menace. We walked silently, lost.

And no, Attack of the Clones wasn't as bad, although most of that was down to the last half hour. But going to see the next one? It'll be out on DVD before the end of the year. I'll rent it at some point.

The interesting thing is I'm not alone. Over the past few days I've noticed that a lot of my friends haven't seen it, and have no plans to.

Maybe Lord of the Rings is to blame. The books are OK, although I don't think think it should stand as the source of all fantasy literature. But the movies! Amazing. Maybe now we have LOTR I don't have to put up with George Lucas' stilted dialog and ability to render great actors tree-like. In LOTR, the trees are great actors. I've seen each LOTR movie at least twice in the cinemas and on DVD three, four times more.

Maybe I shouldn't spend so much time complaining about George Lucas on the Internet. I'm getting more like the Simpson's Comic Book Guy every day. Worst. Episode. Ever.

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