Love and hate. That sums up my relationship with Star Wars. I have loved the original trilogy since I was a kid. It was 1980 and I remember me and my Dad watching Empire Strikes Back on the big screen. I was amazed. I was enthralled. I didn’t take any bathroom breaks. I was equally shocked and confused when Darth Vader said that he was Luke’s father. How can that be? But never mind what he said but from that day onwards, Darth Vader has been my favorite villain and I’ve longed to have a lightsaber of my own.
I remember loving A New Hope when my Dad rented a betamax tape of the movie and watching it as a family was a delight. I remember the hype as Return of the Jedi’s 1983 release quickly approached. And it did not disappoint! We watched it several times in the movie theater. We can do that then.
It was 1999 and I was working then in the US, my first job as a software tester. It was announced that Star Wars Episode I will be coming soon. Never mind the silly title (The Phantom Menace?), imagine my happiness. I was in bliss. I felt like a kid again. At long last, I could finally watch the beginning of the saga. The hype machine for Episode I was in full force. I had a poster of Queen Amidala on my wall. I even collected Pepsi cans with pictures of Qui Gon, Obi Wan, Anakin and Amidala. I bought the soundtrack on CD. Duel of the Fates was on endless repeat on my portable Panasonic CD player. The force was indeed strong in this one. Until…
I was sad that the saga was ending at that point. Good guys won. The bad guys lose. I’m not particularly happy that Darth Vader lost. It was a bittersweet reunion between him and Luke at the end. I almost cried. After that, the wait had been long. Too long in fact. Decades and then some.
I’ve watched the movie. Hmm. Midichlorians? Who was Anakin’s Dad? And how annoying Jar Jar was meesa think so! At least Threepio and Artoo were there. Good thing there was a cool new Sith, Darth Maul. Sadly, he was only in the movie for a scant few minutes. The final battle between Darth Maul and Qui Gon/Obi Wan was epic with an equally epic score, The Duel of the Fates. But I don’t like the way Darth Maul was defeated. Not a cool way to go down for such a cool character. All in all the movie was not entirely bad. I was still more in the love spectrum rather than the hate.
After 2000 arrived, the Y2K bug was a non-issue and a non-event, the dot com crashed and my contract ended. I had to go back to the Philippines. I would have to wait for two more years until Episode II gets released. I’ll tell you about it in my next blog post.