|Posted on May 4, 2011 at 2:35 PM|
I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but today has come to be celebrated amongst nerdlingers everywhere as Star Wars Day. May. Fourth. May. Force. Get it? Yes? Good. According to the infallible Wiki, this happened:
When Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain's first female prime minister, it happened on the Fourth of May 1979. This led her party to place an advertisement in The London Evening News, which said: "May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
Now, I believe the church of Jedi-ism was actually started in England, so this seems entirely plausible to me. And if given a choice between serving a dour old queen and a bad-ass, lightsaber wielding Jedi, who already knows that you're a weak-minded fool, I think you all know which side I’m leaning. (Please say I get to have my own lightsaber! Say it!)
So, as a male born in 1970, Star Wars is one of those events that surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together, and has clearly had an impact on my life. (Here’s a whole host of other 1970s-type things.) I don’t remember a lot of things. And I mean A LOT. Where I left my keys, what we had for dinner, Dana's cell phone number. All vapor. But I *can* remember going to see Star Wars (and we didn’t call it Episode IV back then and we sure as hell didn’t call it “A New Hope" either. It was just "Star Wars." And when I say "Star Wars" I'm referring to the first movie. Individually they are Empire, Jedi, Phantom, Clones and Episode III. There. Now we're all squared-away on semantics.) at a small theater in Carmel, California. I can remember walking down the steps to go into the theater. I can remember watching it with my cousin while my parents shopped. (It was 1977, what adult wouldn’t leave two 7 years-olds alone in a theater to watch a PG movie while they go out shopping on vacation?) I can *clearly* remember the Imperial Star Destroyer flying overhead at the beginning of the movie and knowing that I was about to experience something the likes of which I’d never seen before. (Only T2 and The Matrix have managed to deliver a similar "I don't know what's about to happen, but, man! I know it's gonna be the awesome!" since.) When the movie ended, we walked out into the lobby to meet my parents, told them how amazing it was, and then turned back around to go in and watch it again.
Since Jedi, I’ve seen every Star Wars film – including all of the re-releases – on opening day. (I can remember throwing a crying fit in 1980 – yes, I was 10 and no, I don’t think I was too old to go off on a crying jag – when I found out that Empire was releasing and that I’d have to wait a whole extra day to see it. Some tragedies can only be expressed in tears.) And I'm not going to say that visiting Lucas Ranch and ILM are the highest points in my life, but, well, yeah. Pretty awesome. (Here's a link to some photos from my visits. Oh yeah, That's right visitS. Plural. When someone from LucasFilm, or ILM or THX or whatever calls with some backdoor way into getting you a Ranch visit, you just say "Yes!" The whens and hows and whys will all work themselves out. Trust me. You ARE going to want to go. And if you don't trust me, ask my friend Dan. He's accompanied me on two visits. Every journalist has to have someone toting the camera bag.)
So, yeah. Star Wars. Swelliing John Williams' score, awesome special effects, bizarre alien creatures, strange new worlds, cheesey dialogue the whole deal. So the other day, I got this in my e-mail in-box from email@example.com (If you’d like to share any jokes relating to probes or droids or droids that probe, the comment box is open below. Writing in haiku, limerick or sonnets in iambic pentameter will be given highest marks for class!)
Of course, my curiosity was peaked. What would be revealed? Those mythical Star Wars episode VII, VIII and IX books that people claim to have seen in bookstores back in the early 80s? The fact that Bobba really DIDN’T make that totally wuss scream as he fell into the Sarlacc Pit? (Seriously, probably my WORST thing about the entire Star Wars canon. Even worse than Jar-Jar. With him, you knew you were just getting some merchandising buffoon-ery. But Bobba was special. Bobba was sacred. Bobba was frickin' BOBBA! George, you hurt me with that. Injured. Injured bad.) That George was throwing a Golden Ticket event for secret-secret tours through Lucas Ranch with some oh-so-special and not-so-young-anymore boy being handled the keys the the LucasFilm empire at the end of the day when he admits to drinking the Fizzy Lifting drink and handing back his Force Gobstopper?! (I’m that boy by the way. And I’m going to continue running the Empire with a crushing, Vader-like fist! We'll just see how many star systems slip through my grasp! Oh, yes! We'll just see!)
No. Turns out the full details of the Complete Saga Blu-ray release are being announced. Basically all the finery that was omitted during the pomp at this year's CES -- that I DIDN'T attend, I'll bitterly remind you! -- press event where we were informed that 2011 would be the year that Episodes I - VI make their inaugural appearance on Blu-ray.
And before you start your clamoring yes, yes, I already know. Of course, we’ve all sworn it before. And it goes something like this, “I swear! This is THE LAST TIME that I’m buying Star Wars! This is it!” I said it on VHS. I said it again on VHS Letterboxed Edition. I said it on LaserDisc Special Edition Box Set. And I said it on DVD. Now, dammit, I’m gonna be buying all six movies all over again on Blu-ray. Why? Because it's gonna look and sound better. And because that's exactly what George wants you to do. (I told you we were all weak-minded fools.) And before you get on your, “Well! Just se if you get me to be it again after this, George!” high-horse, just let me tell you that we already know he’s re-re-releasing the movies again. In 3D. So, go ahead and enjoy this box set while you can, but save some room on the shelf for later. Self-loathing is allowed.
Visit May the 4th.StarWars.com to get your wallet amped for the big purchase you'll be making this September. And here's a couple of YouTube videos to further raise your Star Wars Blu-lust to fever pitch. Or something. Just watch the clips. These are the videos you're looking for...