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By Pete Vonder Haar | February 21, 2005


Greetings, fellow nerfherders, and welcome to the first installment of The Star Wars Report. Every week, I’ll be examining the doings and transpirings in the world of Star Wars as we slouch towards the release of “Episode III,” the alleged finale of the most well-known science fiction film franchise of all time.

Now some of you may be saying, “Pete, your reviews are occasionally readable, but what makes you qualified to opine about the majesty of Star Wars?” In response – and after I pointed out that I found your lack of faith disturbing – I’d reply with the following:

+ I’ve seen both Star Wars (I refused to refer to it as “A New Hope”) and The Empire Strikes Back over 100 times.

+ And I’ve seen Return of the Jedi eight times. That’s seven more than it deserves.

+ I’ve also seen The Phantom Menace four times. All on opening day (don’t ask).

+ I haven’t read all of the books, though I’m a big fan of Brian Daley’s Han Solo trilogy and Shadows of the Empire. I also made it through A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo books, Michael Stackpole’s first X-Wing series, and Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy. I pretty much gave up after the Black Fleet Crisis.

+ I still have my “Darth Vadar Lives” button.

+ I’ve finished “Knights of the Old Republic” twice, once on the Light side, and once on the Dark. I shouldn’t have to tell you that playing Dark side is much more entertaining.

+ I didn’t think Vader was really Luke’s dad, and as evidence I always cited the Emperor saying, in “Empire,” that “the son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi” to Vader. Wrong-thinkers and Commies would argue that Palpatine was merely using Obi-Wan logic and thinking that the persona of Darth Vader had won out over than of Anakin Skywalker. I maintain that Lucas hadn’t made up his damn mind and the issue was still up in the air in 1980. Come on, it isn’t like the guy has shown much of a tendency to think things through.

+ And I don’t care what the Bearded One has said recently about “Episode III” being The End, I still remember an issue of Time magazine from the early ‘80s where he elaborated on his intention to make a nine-movie story arc. Hell, Leonard Maltin brought it up on one of the VHS tapes.

Of course, given the quality of the prequels thus far, maybe I should keep my mouth shut about wishing for new movies.

+ I can get through the arcade game on two swipes from my Dave & Buster’s card.

My mom yanked me out of school in 2nd grade to see “Star Wars” in 1977. Same for “Empire” three years later. For “Jedi,” a bunch of friends and I got in line for the first opening day showing. Of late, however, my attitudes have changed. My longing to be Han Solo has been supplanted by my dream of crushing Jar Jar Binks with a giant manhole cover. I have, to my shame, studiously managed to avoid applying critical thinking skills to the original trilogy and – in the same breath – bellowed to the heavens about “midichlorians,” Bantha “pudu” and fart jokes, and the horrendous Anakin/Amidala love story.

Finally, and in order to conclusively demonstrate that I am One of You, I have come up with a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of the hoary cliché that equates “Star Wars” enthusiasts with abused spouses.

I call it the “Ike Turner Theory of Star Wars Fandom.”*

*Thanks to my Star Wars-hating friend Andy for the name.

Get the rest of the report in part two of THE STAR WARS REPORT: “I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS”>>>

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