Saturday, February 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

How do you not like ‘Star Wars?’

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Tony Wade at a Relay for Life event in 2010 tried the old "I am not the columnist you are looking for" Jedi Mind Trick to no avail.

By
From page A2 | June 16, 2014 |

I was out to dinner last week with a friend and I can’t remember how it came up, but he mentioned that he didn’t like “Star Wars.”

Now, there actually wasn’t that needle-scratching-the-record sound effect and then awkward silence, but it would have been wholly appropriate if there had been.

How do you not like “Star Wars?”

Now, since this individual is a businessman and has to make a living, I will not divulge his identity to save him from the vicious backlash he would receive were his radical views made public. I am also saving the poor backs of letter carriers from having to schlep heavy sacks of hate mail (some of it written in Ewokese).

As it happens, I have experienced this odd phenomenon before. Daily Republic columnist Brad Stanhope wrote a piece in 2011 where he asserted that “Star Wars” was . . . (gasp!) . . . overrated.

I Googled Brad’s column for reference, but all that came up was my clever rebuttal column that ran a week later. In it, I recalled how Jabba the Hutt dressed Brad up in Princess Leia’s slave girl costume – neck chain and all.

Since I couldn’t find the digital copy of Brad’s column, I looked for the analog one. I have found over the years that Stanhope’s columns work best for lining my birdcage (not Brandy Stanhope, Brad’s dog that fills in for him periodically, she’s great). I searched for Brad’s column in the birdcage, but three years worth of emu droppings made it an impossible task.

I can only think of one other person who doesn’t like “Star Wars.” When I found out, it broke my heart. I was a huge fan of the band Queen until they released the album “Jazz” in late 1978. It featured the song “Bicycle Race,” where lead singer Freddie Mercury sang: “‘Jaws’ was never my scene and I don’t like ‘Star Wars.’ ” I then had a record-burning party rivaling the ones that took place when John Lennon said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus.

Look, I am well aware that my love of “Star Wars” is partly because I have slathered delicious heaping globs of sweet buttery nostalgia on top of my memories of when the original movie came out in 1977 when I was 13. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome.

That word – awesome – is tossed around a lot, but in this case, it is accurate. When I saw a preview of the film on TV, I was truly struck with awe. I remember standing in a line that snaked around the block at the old Fairfield Cinema I theater downtown. I remember not even wanting to blink during the movie for fear of missing something.

At the dinner where I uncovered my friend’s misguided disdain for director George Lucas’ classic films, I asked him why. He started talking about the “Star Wars” Prequels – Episodes I through III. Cue that needle-scratching-the-record sound effect again.

While I have learned to like those movies, they pale in comparison to the original three – “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

When “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was about to be released in 1999, I was beyond excited. My excitement was ratcheted up to near-frenzy when a friend gave me tickets to see an advance screening. Charlie Bucket could not have been happier when he found Willy Wonka’s last Golden Ticket.

At the theater, I and the rest of the audience cheered and applauded with joyous abandon when the familiar opening sequence began featuring the 20th Century Fox Fanfare and John Williams’ majestic, explosive theme. I was near tears with glee.

Then the actual movie started.

One great thing about that movie is that it gave me a great euphemism to use when road raging instead of actual profanity. “Hey, Jar Jar Binks you, too, buddy!”

By the third movie, I warmed up to the Prequels, but still don’t understand why R2D2 had super powers in the third movie that he didn’t seem to have in the fourth. And please, Mr./Mrs. Star Wars Geekier Than Me, don’t bother explaining it.

Although . . .  I could use some pointers on how to force-choke future naysayers. . .

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected].

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
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Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Roger BellJune 16, 2014 - 3:22 am

    I love the article. I have friend who has never seen any of the Star Wars films. I think she is willing to watch them. Should I start with episode 1 or the original episode IV?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • mike kirchubelJune 16, 2014 - 8:42 am

    I'll be glad to help you. Try randomizing them and be sure to insert a few Star Treks in there too. It sounds bizarre, but several studies have shown this method to be superior to the original rollout.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tony WadeJune 16, 2014 - 10:51 am

    Definitely start with Episode IV. Better yet, take a DeLorean outfitted with a flux capacitor back to 1977 and see it on the big screen in the context of when it came out and how the special effects were--well--light years ahead of anything else.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • mike kirchubelJune 16, 2014 - 5:49 am

    The Beatles were actually bigger than Jesus. People are generally taller today than two thousand years ago and better nourished. Besides, there were four of them.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacJune 16, 2014 - 10:38 am

    Real cool weapons in Star Wars.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JimboJune 16, 2014 - 10:40 pm

    Well all this talk of dark energy and dark matter does sound like the Empire is gaining control of the universe as we know it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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