It has been long, strange journey and I cannot tell you just when I started down the road to geekdom. I can, however, tell you when, looking back with hindsight’s clarity, it is obvious I would not be taking any of the exits. I was six years old. My mom’s two younger siblings, my aunt of 15 at the time and uncle of 1o (my folks were young and from big families) took me to The Strand on Main Street in Brockport. We sit down, the theater goes dark, and then…
… Just wow! That is what happens then! The space ship zooms away from us, explosions all around and in seconds we see it is being chased by a much bigger ship! In that first minute George Lucas kidnapped me from my parents and never gave me back. I spent the next several months running around the house, making my best approximations of blaster and light saber sound effects. I imagined I was in Mos Eisley, shooting it up with Storm Troopers and freaky aliens.
My love of Star Wars never abated, even as I found other avenues for my budding geekdom: Doctor Who, Dungeons and Dragons, comic books, a laundry list of bad sci-fi movies, and even a little real science. We had Empire Strikes Back wall paper, the novelization of the first movie, and, of course, all those wonderful toys. When the first movies were done I had the wonderful rpg by West End Games to play with. The seemingly endless stream of expanded universe novels kind of helped to fill the void.
Then in the late ’90s my first love returned. Most folks were extremely critical of Phantom Menace, and only marginally kinder to the other two prequels. Personally I already realized that they were not going to match the magic of the first movies. How could they? So I learned to enjoy them on their own. George dazzled with his very visual imagination again. The story was a bit hokey, but that is OK, not every movie is going to be Casablanca or the Great Muppet Caper. For a few years, I got my childhood pals back, in a somewhat different form, and it was all good.
Now I hear they are returning. The House that Walt Built now owns the rights and has promised us a new trilogy. Frankly I did not need to be convinced to be happy about this. Again, no it is not going to be the original, that can never be matched, but they are reviving a loved franchise, how can that not be awesome? The news that JJ Abrams is helming Episode VII is all kinds of exciting. The man makes amazing, fun, thoughtful movies. His TV shows get a bit tiresome, he hates ending anything (seriously, the man is, like, the Anti-Whedon) but his Star Trek reboot, Cloverfield, and Super Eight were all mind-blowing. I may be wrong, but I doubt we will be disappointed.
So I get to be a kid again, in a few years. I will be transported to A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away and get to remind myself why I am a geek all over. I’ll try not to annoy too much with the light saber noises.