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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.

Local lifestyle columnists

How do you not like ‘Star Wars?’

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

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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • PornacJune 16, 2014 - 10:38 am

    Real cool weapons in Star Wars.

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  • 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.

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