True Enough For You

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Monday, May 23, 2005

Sith Happens

So yesterday I satiated my hunger for closure and set out to see George Lucas’ little indie that could, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Truth be told, I don’t always enjoy the theater going experience, especially at the Riverview in Philadelphia. Maybe I have gotten too snobby for my own good, but the crowds at any theater that doesn’t have the word Ritz in its name scare and annoy me in deeply profound ways.

However, the crowd that Star Wars brings out of the woodwork is not your average crowd. These are geeks that dress as their favorite character for the midnight opening. These are dorks who see this movie as a “cultural event.” These are the sexless masses waiting to blow their collective load after a 6 year cocktease. Thus, half the fun of seeing this movie is the implicit knowledge that I presumably won’t be the geekiest, dorkiest, most sexless person in the room. I can usually claim 2 out of 3 of those crowns at any given moment. Not that I totally wouldn't wear lederhosen to a Sound of Music sing-along movie event. Because I would.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I showed up and realized that the crowd I was expecting wasn’t even there. Maybe it was wrong to go to a Sunday matinee if I wanted to see the hardcore geekery that was so rich in potential. The crowd was far worse than I anticipated. Everyone brought 3 kids with them. Each of these kids, I assume had an allergy problem or a cold or perhaps tuberculosis. Most of the kids had a voracious appetite for learning all the subtle details of the plot, as they asked question after question to their annoyed parents. This is all happening in between squeals of delight. There was one child, in particular, who wouldn’t shut the fuck up. Of course, he sat next to me. The only perk was that because of him I had been spared hearing some of the wretched dreck which passes for dialogue. There was even a guy in front of me who brazenly ignored the “shut your cell phones off please” warning before the movie started. I consider it a mandate. He considered it a recommendation that one can and should ignore at will. He took three calls during the movie. I hope that the calls had something to do with selling his children into slavery on the black market, since they were equally as bothersome.

As for the movie? Well, I guess it didn’t suck. Since I am a relatively perfectly normal person, at this point in George Lucas' attenuated narrative arc, I have precisely no idea what the hell is going on. I know that there is some political discord. I know that Hayden Christiansen and his greasy hair have to become Darth Vader at some point. (Honestly, get this guy some shampoo, stat.) I know that he has to knock up Natalie Portman so that they could have twins named Luke and Leia. I know that Natalie has to find an amazing stylist to create some fabulous maternity fashion items. I know that the homoeroticism is at Spinal Tap Level 11, and some dude that looks like the Pope wants Hayden to be his cabana boy. I know that if you have an accent and you are not Obi Wan Kenobi, you are likely evil. And I know my first name is Stephen.

The movie actually gets pretty good when Anakin turns to the dark side. Up until then, I really don’t understand why people are fighting. Ani basically flips out because he’s in love and the Jedi Knights have a strict “Bro’s before Ho’s” policy. That would drive anyone crazy, so you can’t help but root for him when he’s kicking ass for his lady. His lady, however, is not impressed. Then again, I find myself rooting for the bad guys in movies far too often.

So, he basically goes bitchcakes and becomes the new Emporer of the galaxy, after his Sugar Daddy saves his from bad lava burns when his old mentor kicks his ass in a sword fight. He gets fitted for his badass shiny black suit, breathes his first famously belabored breath and somehow develops the voice of James Earl Jones. Got that? I think that’s it. I remember one of my neighbors used to do the Darth Vader breathing when she wanted to scare the shit out of me. It worked well. But in the theater yesterday, I couldn’t get scared at all. I was concentrating too much on the death grips I would enforce on the kid sitting next to me and the dude with the cell phone.

The geeks might make me sad deep down inside, but I am sure they would have been more respectful. May the force be with them. And also with you.


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