Sunday, September 17, 2006

Late Night Star Wars Fest

First up, happy birthday to Scott who, at 31, officially joins the “in your thirties” club.
Secondly, congratulations to Scott on passing the Red Hat Certified Technician portion of the Red Hat Certified Engineer test (and just barely missing the RHCE portion).
I have a bit of a headache today that I attribute to the fact that I drank way too much caffeine yesterday.
The headache is the price I have to pay for doing so, but I really needed it yesterday as a less than restful night of sleep on Friday night left me exhausted all day on Saturday.
I had gone to bed the usual time on Friday, and though I was tired and my eyes were heavy, I simply could not fall asleep. I was lying there for hours, occasionally drifting off just long enough for 15 minutes to shoot past, but then returning to full consciousness.
All the while I had that “sinking” feeling that often serves as the lead in to falling asleep, as you sink deeper and deeper into unconsciousness.
The problem was that I kept sinking without actually hitting bottom.
Eventually I managed to fall into a deep and total sleep, though I’m not sure when, and 5 am arrived far too quickly afterwards.
Brian tells me that he was out on a call at 1:30 am and had laid on the horn as they went past my place in an effort to wake me – though he was unaware of just how hard-won my sleep was that night – but I can say fuck him and the fire engine he rode in on because by that time I was dead to the world and didn’t hear shit.
When I got home from work yesterday I discovered that the Star Wars DVDs I’d ordered from Amazon on Wednesday had already arrived. I was pretty impressed by that, given that the free “super saver shipping” is listed as taking 5-9 business days.
After watching The Simpsons and the tail-end of an episode of Mythbusters I decided to pop in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and watch it.
I think the last time I saw it was back in 1997 when I went to see the “Special Edition.” The version I watched was the 2004 DVD version which has further enhancements beyond the 1997 version. The DVDs that I bought all include a second disk with the original theatrical versions of the movies, but I’m not enough of a purist that I felt a particular need to watch that instead.
After watching the first one I decided, “What the hell, might as well watch The Empire Strikes Back while I’m at it.”
Somewhere along the line I cracked open a bottle of SoBe Energy, adding to my day’s already high caffeine consumption, as I was struggling to stay awake by that time.
(As an aside, there was some kind of crud stuck to the side of the bottle on which I actually managed to cut my left hand while struggling, in vain, to twist the cap off. Ultimately I resorted to the little cap twisting teeth on the handles of my kitchen shears to open the bottle, but the point is that I’m the only person I know who can injure himself in quite that fashion simply by trying to open a bottle of SoBe.)
After Empire, though it was late and I was extremely tired, I said, “Screw it; I’m doing the whole trilogy,” and watched Return of the Jedi.
The end result was that I ended up going to bed sometime around 3.
For the record, my favorite of all of the Star Wars movies is Return of the Jedi, though I know many people consider it to be the worst of the original trilogy.
I can understand that, as the principle objection that people have can be summed up in one word: Ewoks.
Sure, the cute little teddy bear aliens are pretty annoying, but Jedi has enough going for it, in my less than humble opinion, that it can overcome that weakness.
I mean we finally have Luke coming into his own as a man, a Jedi, and a hero.
There’s no more idle daydreaming, no more whining, no more second-guessing himself.
For my money, there’s nothing better than watching him walk into Jabba’s fortress, Force choking a couple of pig-faced Muppets, overpowering the mind of that albino alien with that giant slug growing out of his head or whatever the hell that was, and very calmly and self-assuredly informing Jabba that his options are to cooperate with him or die.
Okay, sure, there were some missteps in the operation, but Luke makes up for it all once he gets his hands on his light saber on the barge and begins wreaking pure havoc everywhere.
There are so many Star Wars fans who have a hard-on for Boba Fett. I’ve never been one of them. I mean, sure, he looked cool, but that was pretty much it; he never actually did anything.
That’s why I always liked the way Luke pretty much just dismissed him. He slices Boba’s blaster, then turns away as if to say, “I’ve got no time for you, bitch.”
And of course, though it was a bad thing, as he was giving in to anger, it was cool, towards the end, to watch Luke just cut loose on his daddy, beating his ass into submission and saying, “How do you like having your hand cut off, bitch?”
Sure, it wasn’t the first time Darth had a hand whacked off with a light saber, but back then we didn’t know that.
Anyway, in watching Jedi again I was reminded of just how much I wanted to be Luke Skywalker when I was a kid.
Of course, I’m no longer the 11 year old loser I was when Jedi first came out. Nope, I’m a 34 year old loser who is much more cynical and jaded, and who has suffered through the prequels that just don’t fit together with the original trilogy the way they ought to, but even so, there was at least a hint that decades old sense of wonder as I sat watching the originals (even with the modifications) again.
I suppose it’s probably those deeply cherished memories that made it an impossible task for Lucas to make prequels that would live up to the expectations of the fans, but more than anything, I realized as I watched the originals, it really was the fact that he just didn’t stick to the spirit of the originals and didn’t construct a story that satisfactorily meshed with the story he’d already told.
Still, despite the fact that I was actually enjoying the movies – and despite the fact that no one was around to hear me – the fact that I am much more jaded and cynical than I was as a kid, I couldn’t help but give in to the urge to give the movies the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.
This mostly consisted of creating my own dialogue for characters like R2-D2 and Chewbacca whose actual dialogue can only be guessed at.
In R2’s case this consisted primarily of snarky comments in response to everything that C-3PO said.
Mostly they were things like, “Yeah? Well at least I don’t look like I’m made out of gold lamé, you preening little queen.”
Another favorite occurred when Threepio was telling the Ewoks the story of Episode IV and R2, apparently, encouraged him to get to the part about Luke blowing up the Death Star.
(I know, I know, “Thanks for ruining the ending, jerk!” Seriously, if you need spoiler warnings for something dealing with the Star Wars movies then all I can say is that “Rosebud was his sled!” I mean, come on; catch up on the movie-watching already!)
I posited that R2 said something like, “Tell them about how Luke blew up the Death Star the way you blow guys in the Mos Isley cantina men’s room. Luke had to aim for the thermal exhaust port; you man to the glory hole.”
As for Chewie, on Cloud City when he finds Threepio on the scrap pile, I interpreted his roars to mean, “Hey! Hands off my fagbot!”
And as the little aliens played keepaway with Threepio’s head, Chewie roared, “I will murder every last one of you sons of bitches!”
Then there were just the unspoken bits of dialogue that I decided needed to be spoken.
When Han, who was blind from “hibernation sickness,” Chewie, and Luke were brought in front of Jabba, Han asked, “Where’s Leia?”
She responded, “I’m here, Han,” but she should have added, “And it’s really too bad that you can’t see, because damn I look good in this leather and metal slave girl outfit. Seriously, I’m providing fuel for thousands and thousands of masturbatory fantasies for decades to come. No pun intended.”
Anyway, that was how my evening of slightly loopy Star Wars viewing went. Even though my viewing extended into the wee hours and left me totally exhausted I didn’t get a lot of sleep, as I woke up at the usual time this morning, so I think I’m going to devote a portion of the afternoon to rectifying the situation.

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes and the welcome to the club. Most of all, thanks for Mythology and High Anxiety!