It’s Star Wars Week here on My Fangirl Life (and literally everywhere else in the world), where we celebrate the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Join us every day as we discuss the new movie, the old movies, and plenty of general Star Wars fun! Today Johnny Rico is here to rant at the internet about something Star Wars related.
Let me take you back to a simpler time. The year was 1999. The world was optimistic for peace in the Middle East after the election of Ehud Barak, Haley Joel Osment saw dead people in The Sixth Sense (btw I totally called that 10 minutes in), Y2K was a growing and theoretically legitimate concern, we were all in love with a still hot Britney Spears, and nerds of the world united in the tender embrace of the first new Star Wars movie in nearly two decades.
For university-aged nerds in 1999 this was going to be our moment in the sun. Our grandfathers got to witness the Apollo missions, our older brothers got Star Trek: The Next Generation, and our fathers and uncles saw the original Star Wars trilogy during its initial run, but now with the collective wisdom passed down from our forenerds we were ready. It was our time. I was part of a small group that had spots five and six in line for Star Wars Episode I: The Movie That Shall Not Be Named tickets at the biggest, newest, and best theatre in my hometown for over two weeks. A couple guys were interviewed on the local news (when that still mattered), a franchise pizza place brought dozens of free pizzas down to us, and for the first time we got to commune with a large group of like-minded people that just wanted to get our Star Wars on. The day before tickets went on sale I walked the line and counted over 700 people waiting for tickets and I, thanks to my friends, was guaranteed two seats in the first showing in Edmonton. I was going to be among the first people to see a return of the glorious past.
The day approached with excitement. I drove to the theatre with great excitement. And when the opening scroll start I cheered… with excitement. I distinctly remember walking out of that movie, after being politely asked not to spoil anything for the people who were waiting outside, when someone in line for the 3:00 am show asked me how it was. “It’s Star Wars, man,” I said. “Of course it was awesome”. It was not awesome. We sat through 136 minutes of Jar Jar, political maneuvering, and confusing plot lines and managed to convince ourselves that it was exactly as awesome as we knew it was going to be. Star Wars: Episode I was not good and we didn’t know how to deal with it.
Now, 15 years later, I am on the verge of seeing the start of another new Star Wars trilogy and excitement for The Force Awakens is only tempered by my fear of spoilers. I have loose plans to see it at least 3 times before Christmas and have way too many ideas for the ONE blog post I’m allowed to write on the subject. But what if Episode VII is as bad as Episode I? What if JJ Abrams is a false saviour? What if some wide-eyed kid asks you how it was and you don’t have it in your heart to answer honestly? WHAT IF?! Well, I’m here to help. Here are 8 easy steps for dealing with a recklessly disappointing Star Wars movie.
- Only see it 2, maybe 3, more times. Look, you’re going to be pretty excited the first time you see it. Especially if you already have tickets to one or two showings. It is entirely possible you won’t totally be in the right mind to make a proper, unbiased assessment. By limiting yourself to maybe only 4 more showings you’ll have enough time to fully recognize what went wrong and send a clear message to Disney that this movie didn’t meet expectations.
- Only tweet positive comments to @georgelucas66. He isn’t going to respond anyway, and if his circle of sycophants couldn’t fix the new movie there isn’t a snowball’s hope on Hoth of your stopping the AT-AT. I think I may have mixed a metaphor there, but I don’t really want to fix it. Tweet ole George about how awesome Episode V was and thank him for that. I mean, they were inside of a giant space worm. If you tell me you were expecting that twist you are lying.
- Do not take your pain out on BB-8. What has BB-8 ever done to you? Nothing, that’s what. Droids live only to serve and make clicky remarks. I know I made many smart remarks about C3PO being naked after Episode I, but truthfully I’m glad I got to witness its creation story. Give BB-8 the same respect and you will be repaid by having no hypocritical thoughts when you watch the Blu-ray release for the first time. To this day I know I said things that cannot be unsaid. It’s a shame I’ll take with me to my frozen carbonite grave.
- Limit your online comments. Like most nerd groups you’ve probably got several dozen blogs posts planned to go along with a scheduled radio interview, as well as plans to really dive deep into the Jar Jar Sith Master theory on reddit, to post to random message boards, and to schedule endless Star Wars related tweets and Facebook updates for the pre-Christmas season. Obviously I wouldn’t tell you not to do any of this, but you might want to limit yourself to only 5 twitter conversations with minor celebrities a day. Can your follow up radio interview only be replayed 3 times overnight? Look into it. And only comment on your Star Wars-related Amazon purchases if you feel strongly about the product or service delivered.
- Do not restart Star Wars: Battlefront out of spite. You made your choice already. You’re either a rebel soldier or a stormtrooper. Changing your choice now will do nothing to fix the movie. Besides, you were going to replay it anyway after Christmas. So finish your current game and do your very best to enjoy it. A lot of fine people at EA spent a lot of time working on it and you owe it to yourself to enjoy their creation.
- Do not take it out on Subway. It’s truth time, folks. Subway has had a really bad year. I’ve been told I’m not allowed to even mention Jared here, but Subway had to deal with Jared. I recommend going to Subway by yourself, ordering your favorite foot long sub along with a refreshing soft drink in a collectable cup and really thinking about what Star Wars means to you. Don’t go during peak hours because it’ll be too loud. Wait until late evening, when no one in their right mind would go to Subway, and really contemplate Star Wars. Has their journey been worth it to you? Has it? It has.
- Only hang on to the good collectibles. In 1999 I stole a Jar Jar Binks cardboard cutout from the old 7-11. My dad eventually threw it, and all my other assorted left behind merch, into the trash as I was no longer living in his house. I regret his decision to this very day. I try not to think about it, but how can I forget THAT? Like you wouldn’t be excited to see a six foot Jar Jar (complete with Pepsi logo) this week. So don’t throw out your toys, coffee creamers, stolen posters, movies stubs, orange labels, Millennium Falcon drone(s), BB-8 robot, replica blasters, and 16-foot inflatable Christmas Darth Vader. The pain will subside and you’ll once again cherish these investments.
- Do not re-watch the good movies (and good parts of the bad movies) in anger. Just don’t. You should watch all of these things, several times in fact, but do it with an open mind and a clear heart. There are hours and hours of good memories and thrilling battles to enjoy. Do not let your current disappointment darken your shining Star Wars memories. Just don’t. Everything you’ve seen so far has a place in your beating heart for a reason, allow those memories to remain and you will reap the rewards before Episode VIII (OMG it’s only 17 months away!!!!!) when no one will be able to find a negative word you wrote about Episode VII.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to be awesome man because how could JJ Abrams screw up a Star Wars movie? Frankly, to think otherwise would be inconceivable!
Would you like to know more?
Johnny (Dark Side) Rico