Sorry, I Can’t Relate – I’m a Younger Star Wars Fan

Ever since The Clone Wars came out, I’ve considered myself an “in the middle” Star Wars fan.  I’m not one of the original Star Wars fans who got to see the Original Trilogy in the theaters, nor am I the youngest who have fallen in love with Star Wars through the TV shows and, now, the release of new movies.  I’m smack in the middle…one of the younger fans who grew up on the Prequels.  Maybe we’re not so young now, but I always feel young when I talk to the fans who were there when it all began.

As such, when I do happen to talk to the Star Wars fans who have known a world without Star Wars, I find that there are some things I just can’t understand in terms of experiences and annoyances.

I compiled this list in my head during the past week of feelings I can’t relate to as a Star Wars fan born post-Original Trilogy.

Midi-chlorians

For some reason, this is one of the strongest differences I find between myself and older fans.  I’ve read articles and talked to people who were absolutely heartbroken that Lucas “scientized” the Force.

qui gon jinn and anakinMy understanding is that when you watched ANH, it gave the impression that the Force was so mystical and anyone could use if they had the proper training.  It spoke to fans because they realized that they could have this power.  By the end of ROTJ, fans realized it could be genetic but it was still something completely supernatural.  It couldn’t be explained why someone had the Force and someone didn’t or if it always gets passed down through generations.

When TPM came out and introduced midi-chlorians as the reason for the Force, a lot of older fans were outraged.  They were, and still are, upset that the Force became something you could track and measure by taking a blood sample.

I’ve never been able to relate to this.  I was 12 when TPM came out and even though I had seen the OT beforehand, I never thought much about the Force.  It was just there.  Luke had it.  Vader had it.  It was implied Leia might have it.  So when Qui-Gon starts telling Anakin about midi-chlorians, I thought, “Ah, okay, that makes sense,” and it became part of my Star Wars knowledge almost instantaneously.  I accepted it and moved on.  When people get upset about it, I almost can’t remember a time before midi-chlorians so it doesn’t get me worked up.

Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s Father

Alas, I wish I could relate to the shock everyone felt when that was revealed.  But I can’t . I knew Vader was Luke’s father before I watched the movies for the first time.  Even if I was never directly told, it’s such a part of our pop culture that the misquoted, “Luke, I am your father,” is almost I am your father vaderomnipresent.

This is one of those things where I really wish I could have had that older fan experience.  I wish I could be in the theater watching it for the first time and think, “Wait, what?  Did I hear that right?  What did he say?”

But nope.  It’ll never happen like that because I was born post-1980.

Jar Jar Binks

Jar Jar binksThis may come as a surprise, but I don’t hate Jar Jar.  Like the midi-chlorians, since TPM came out when I was 12, Jar Jar became accepted into my Star Wars love with no issues.  It wasn’t until I was older and rewatch the movies that I think he’s annoying.  Yet in 1999, he was just a different alien that, in the end, helped the Jedi and Amidala obtain victory over the Trade Federation.

Even now, I can’t relate to the extreme hatred older fans have for this character.  The cruelness at which fans crucify this character and George Lucas for creating him is baffling to me.  I’ve read that people think he’s a Jamaican stereotype and cruelly berate Lucas in articles for it.  Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but I don’t get it and I can’t relate to it.

The Feeling That Star Wars is Done Forever

I kind of felt like Star Wars as I knew it was over in 2005 after ROTS was released.  I didn’t know where my love for Star Wars would take me.  But even as it ended, there were rumors of an animated Star Wars TV show being released (keep in mind the original TCW, was an animated microseries,star wars comic 1985 ended in 2005 as well).  By 2008, we had a completely new Star Wars to watch, albeit a very different format, but enough to keep the spark there.

I don’t know what it feels like to feel like there is NOTHING.  Sure, Star Wars continued in the form of board games, comics, and some old school video games after ROTJ, but no one thought there would be new movies, TV shows, etc.  The Thrawn Trilogy wasn’t published until the early 1990s so there was a good 8-10 years where all fans had were comics and games.

Props to the older Star Wars fans.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be in a Jakku-like planet with absolutely no knowledge that there would ever be more Star Wars movies.

Practical Sets/Effects vs. CGI

This has become a huge debate in the past few years since Abrams was brought on board for TFA.  Any time he or Kathleen Kennedy was interviewed, they stressed about bringing back real sets, real costumes, real locations for the new Star Wars trilogy.  It’s clear that what they were saying is practical = Original Trilogy = what most fans love and CGI = Prequel Trilogy = what most fans dislike.

coruscantI disagree.   The PT is a large part of my life and I don’t think CGI is bad.  What I could possibly concede on is that a) too much CGI was used, and b) the scripts were not well done in the PT.  If you don’t have a good script or storyline, then the CGI is going to be more noticeable.

I loved seeing the planet of Coruscant, the ships in space, and all the interesting planets we got to see because of Lucas’ work with CGI.  One of my favorite scenes is when Artoo fixes the hyperdrive on Queen Amidala’s ship.  Can you imagine how crude that would look without CGI?  I also loved Utapau and the scenes with Obi-Wan riding the Varactyl.  That would not have been possible without CGI.

So I can’t understand where this aversion of CGI comes from.  It also baffles me that KK and Abrams went to such lengths to talk up their practical sets when the movie has a lot of CGI in it.  I’ve said this before, but if you are going to go in one direction or the other, go all the way.  I thought Snoke was one of the most out-of-place characters/moments/scenes in TFA and I know it was due to the CGI.  He might not have looked so out of place in the PT because our minds were used to the special effects.

 

If you’re an older fan, do you disagree with some of what I said?  If you’re a younger fan than me, is there something that perhaps you can’t relate to that I’ve written about?  If you are close to my age, do you agree with what I’ve written?

Book Review: Choices of One

I like that I started 2015 off with a Star Wars novel.  I find that somehow fitting, seeing as this year is going to be a huge Star Wars year, what with the amping up of The Force Awakens.

Mei-Mei suggested Choices of One (by Timothy Zahn) to me almost 1 years ago in a random post, and Null definitely mentioned it as well…so thanks to you both – it somehow ended up on my reading list!  What makes it choices of oneso spectacular that it’s my first book of 2015 is that I have a reading list that ranges anywhere from 30-40 books on it at a time and I use random.org to pick the book I read next.  I had 34 books on my list, therefore giving me a 3% chance of actually getting this novel.  Anyway, I found that interesting because I’m looking for reasons that 2015 is going to be awesome and Star Wars filled.

I liked this novel SO much better than my last Legends book (still trying not to write EU), Dawn of the Jedi.  Which is funny, because if I think about what I’m looking for in a Star Wars novel it’s generally something that happens either way before the movies or way after the movies and therefore has no connection to the main characters.  Instead, Choices of One takes place between ANH and ESB and involves the three main heroes as well.

The first third of the book was boring for me.  I struggled with getting into it and found the character interactions between Han, Leia, and Luke to be halting and didn’t flow naturally.  On the flip side, I enjoyed the scenes with the commanders on the Star Destroyer and the scenes with Mara Jade…they kept me reading when I wanted to give up.  I forgot how much I missed reading about Mara.  Though loyal to the Empire and the Emperor at this point, there are still glimpses of the woman we will see her become through her relationship with Luke.

As the novel went on, I thought our three heroes began to find their groove and Zahn did a better job of reflecting what we saw from their characters in the movie onto his paper.  Particularly, I thought he did an amazing job with Luke.  At this point, Luke is not as serious or knowledgeable of the Force as he is by the end of the OT.  He brought to life a struggle Luke had with everyone thinking he is a competent Jedi just because he has a lightsaber and blew up the Death Star, contrasted with how he feels that he knows absolutely nothing except the small training from Ben Kenobi.  I loved reading it and found it weirdly relatable as it can happen to many of us, especially if we start a new job.

When the novel started to all come together toward the end and we find out that Mara, the Hand of Judgment (a group of stormtrooper deserters), and the Rebels are all going to be at the same planet at the same time, I got a little nervous.  I was afraid of Luke and Mara having an interaction pre-Heir to the Empire and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle that.  Thankfully, Zahn threw them in a situation together where they actually do not have a conversation and only briefly glimpse each other.  It’s hard to say too much without spoiling the novel for anyone that wants to read it, but suffice it to say that my fears were unwarranted.

Pros:

  • Overall, Zahn did a good job with keeping the three heroes true to form with personality quirks and attitudes.
  • I liked that there were a lot of larger issues and questions that were brought to life and made you think. For instance, Han’s moral struggles at the end of the novel when he is incognito as an Imperial Officer.  He faced a decisions where he did not have to help the Imperials in their emergency situation and they would all die, which is a benefit to the Rebel cause, or he could help them because in a sense they were a ship full of innocent people facing a common enemy.
  • Null would be happy about this: I actually really, really enjoyed all chapters that had to do with the back cover choices of oneHand of Judgment, a band of deserter stormtroopers who are this murky shade of grey. Are they good or bad?  I loved reading personalities!  In stormtroopers!  Mind blown.  But seriously, that was something I didn’t expect to like so much and I’m actually considering adding Allegiance to my book list because of how much I enjoyed them.
  • It was great revisiting Thrawn and Mara Jade again (though separately). I was afraid of overkill on Thrawn, but he was written in there just enough that there was no overload.
  • My favorite chapters/sections to read was actually Commander Pellaeon’s storyline on the Star Destroyer Chimaera. I loved how he wanted to take everything one step further on his job and showed that there was competency within the Empire.
  • I liked the setup it played between ANH and ESB. For instance, the relationship and conversations Han has with General Rieekan explains more of ESB.  Little moments like that were a nice touch.

Cons:

  • The first third of the book dragged. I couldn’t get into it and was frustrated whenever I had to read chapters with the three heroes.  I felt like it took a while for Zahn to get into the groove of depicting them well, but it could also have been my resistance to actually reading them.
  • It was easily guessable. Don’t go into this novel actually hoping for a surprise at the end.  This is mara jade choices of oneno Game of Thrones and I had figured everything out by the halfway point.  Still, there’s something to be said that I kept reading even if I pretty much knew what was going to happen.
  • Is it just me or was Mara a little less harsh in this book? This could very well just be me since I haven’t read the original Thrawn Trilogy in 10+ years, but I have a distinct memory of her being a little less reasonable.
  • The Luke/Mara scene where they almost-meet-but-not-quite seems a liiiiiitle far-fetched. I was obviously happy they didn’t meet but it still seemed slightly unbelievable.  I also thought it out of character for Mara to just brush aside the name “Skywalker” that she references Vader was obsessively hunting.  I feel like Mara would have done a more thorough investigation on who he is if the name linked to someone Vader was searching for.

Overall, I was much happier with this novel than with Dawn of the Jedi.  It showed that I can read Legends books with the main characters and not give up entirely.  I would rate this 3.5/5 stars.  I liked it more than average, but I couldn’t love it enough to give it 4 stars.

Book Review: Dawn of the Jedi

It’s highly entertaining to me that while I was reading the first EU book in over 10 years, LFL announces that all of the EU is now referred to as “Legends” and no longer canon.  It kind of seems like a waste of my time to try to fulfill my resolution of reading one EU book per year.  Should I forget about the previous books and move forward as LFL moves forward with novels?  Or should I continue to read the books of the past?

Aw, shucks that’s a hard decision!

I’m kidding.  Of course I’ll read EU books before they were “Legends”.  As long as they’re good.

But, you know, I don’t read EU books.  I’ve discussed it many times on my blog, but this past experience was a heavy reminder of why I don’t read them.

Because this one sucked.  Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh.  I hate to say any author’s hard work “sucked” because they put a lot of time and effort into it…but LFL: Please don’t let Tim Lebbon write anymore Star Wars novels!

I chose Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void because they had a sample of the first chapter in a Star Wars Insider last year.  I really, really liked the chapter and figured the rest of the book would be the same.  Plus, it’s about Jedi, my favorite!  Originally it was a comic book that was adapted to a novel, so I’m hoping that explains away the reasons I didn’t like it, but I don’t believe that’s the case.

*Spoilers below*

dawn of the jediIn a nutshell: This is not exactly an “origin” story of the Jedi, per se, like I was hoping for.  Instead, it was more of a sampling of the history of the Jedi, more than 25,000 BBY.  They live on a planet called Tython where there are nine temples.  In order to become a Je’daii, you need to travel between each of the temples to gain a well-rounded skill set to become a Master.  I had to look some of that up on Wookiepedia because all I remember was that there was a lot of traveling and temples.

The story focuses on a young Je’daii Ranger named Lanoree Brock, who is tasked with the mission to stop her brother, Dalien Brock (who was thought to be dead), from activating a hypergate.

The story goes between flashbacks of growing up with Dalien and trying to force him into being a Je’daii like herself and the real time of her mission to find him.  While on her mission, she meets up with a Twi’lek named Tre Sana who helps her.

Yup.  That’s the gist of it. Lots of plot. 😉

Pros:

  • Lanoree actually kills her brother at the end of the novel.  I know, strange that this is a pro.  But the whole novel is leading up to this climatic confrontation and you think she is going to “save” him from himself.  Possibly see him regret his actions and become a better person.  But nope, he remains foolhardy (I say foolhardy because he wasn’t necessarily “evil”) until the end of the novel where she has to kill him.
  • We get to see the Jedi as an organization years and years before the Prequels. Before they had lightsabers, they had swords.  They did everything lightsabers do, but were swords instead.  Not much detail on how they made the swords to have the exact same properties as lightsabers, though.
  • The novel was centered around a female protagonist.  Lanoree is practically a robot and it’s hard to feel supportive for her, but at least the main character is a female.  She is a Je’daii who can kick some serious butt and leads the story.  I always like to see books that are written entirely from a female perspective.
  • I learned that Sith were a species before they were the antithesis of the Jedi.  It was really confusing at first to be reading about Lanoree walking by Sith and not freaking out.

Cons:

  • My main problem with this novel was that I never felt attachment to any of the characters.  Lanoree is not a very likeable character lanoree brockand her brother is just annoying, not really evil.  The closest I felt for any character was Tre Sana, but even he was kind of wooden and non-likeable.  I like feeling for characters, rooting for them, and when I put the book down, I want to feel like they were my friends and I have invested my emotions into them.  I want to feel sad when someone dies (or almost dies? It wasn’t entirely clear) as was the case with Tre Sana.  Instead, I felt nothing when he died and thought the way it was written was very strange.
  • The juxtaposition between flashbacks and real time also created a very jarring novel.  I’ve read that style before, and I know it can be done well, but in this case, it made it a lot harder to read.  Lebbon seemed to want to write a fantasy novel during the flashbacks and a science fiction novel in real time.  It seemed like he was trying to mix two genres together and I wasn’t having it.   They never really matched up.  Tython and the Je’daii were the fantasy realm, whereas Lanoree’s mission with Tre Sana was sci-fi.  When Lanoree and Dalien were traveling to the different temples together (flashback) they encountered fantastical beasts, complete with beasts that could withstand the Force.  That’s fine if beasts can withstand the Force, I remember reading of such in Heir to the Empire, but by the time we got to them, it felt like the author was running out of ideas for suspense.
  • I never understood the connection Lanoree felt for her brother.  There were never any flashbacks that gave us the siblings being in tune with each other and completely loving each other.  Each flashback had a sullen, hateful Dalien, and a Lanoree who tried to push her ideals and training of the Force down his throat.  So where was this supposed connection and love coming from?  Was it just the whole “blood is thicker than water” thing?
  • The writing was horrible and there was very little actual plot.  I felt like I was reading an airport novel.  It consistently left chapters on bad cliffhangers that didn’t make me want to turn the page.  The dialogue was bland, and though there was a lot of action packed into the pages…it felt like nothing really happened.

Okay, there was more than just these points, but I feel like I would end up complaining way too much.  I think I had high hopes for this book since I liked the excerpt from Insider so much.  It’s never good when you have high hopes, because then you are bound to be disappointed.

I gave this book 2/5 stars on Goodreads because it wasn’t HORRIBLE.  But it was forgettable and it sums up why I stopped reading EU books in the first place.  When you get a bad Star Wars EU book, it’s pretty bad.

However, I’ve had some suggestions from Mei-Mei recommending Choices of One and Null recommended Darth Plagueis, and I’ve heard good things about both.  Maybe I should just start at the beginning and read the Thrawn Trilogy again…I think it’s been enough time to revisit them.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Guest post: Love and Theft – A Review of Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

I am pleased to announce my first Guest Post!  I have no problem with letting people share their thoughts on anything Star Wars and using my blog as a platform.  As I’m especially busy right now, I offered Nathan a chance to review a Star Wars novel that came out recently: Scoundrels.    I don’t read much EU anymore so it’s nice to have a shakeup in my posts.  Personally, I think Nathan is a great writer and seems to have more time to organize this thoughts than I do when I write – so maybe we can convince him to start his own blog?  Enjoy his book review and I hope you guys comment!

Han: "Now, Lando, no hard feelings about Wukkar?"  Lando: "Right...  C'mon, there's somebody I want you meet."

Han: “Now, Lando, no hard feelings about Wukkar?”
Lando: “Right… C’mon, there’s somebody I want you meet.”

I love Star Wars.  No surprises there, we’re all here reading Kiri’s Star Wars blog after all.  I love heist films, such as Ocean’s 11, The Sting, and The Brothers Bloom.  I love Han Solo… in a completely plutonic man-crush sort of way.  And I love Timothy Zahn’s writing.  The Thrawn Trilogy and his non-Star Wars Conquerors Trilogy remain some of my favorite science fiction.  So, when I heard that all of these elements were coming together in the recent release of Star Wars: Scoundrels, I was excited to jump towards that far, far away galaxy.

First off two confessions: This is my first foray into the Expanded Universe in several years.  There was a time that I rabidly consumed stories from Outer Rim to the Core Worlds, but eventually attention waned in favor of other literary pursuits.  It was definitely the concept of a heist story set in the Star Wars Universe that interested me.  A smaller-scale, character driven story seemed like a good counterpoint to the galaxy-threatening space opera I’d already read often.

My second confession is that I “read” this book in audio form.  I’m a chronically slow reader and always on the move, so the audiobook format worked well for me to finish Scoundrels in a timely manner.  But, more on the audio performance later.

Scoundrel’s takes place almost immediately after the events of the Battle of Yavin shown in A New Hope.  Han Solo and Chewbacca have recently left their new Rebel friends and promptly their reward money was stolen.  Now, Han has a Kowakian monkey-lizard to get off his back, namely his debt to Jabba the Hutt.

Enter Eanjer, a heavily bandaged man that offers our favorite smugglers a chance at a fortune, a cut of 163 million credits to be exact.  All they have to do is sneak into the high security vault of Avrak Villachor on Wukkar, a man who turns out to be no less than a Black Sun sector chief.  Han balks that he and Chewie aren’t really thieves and safecrackers, but Eanjer insists “surely you know people…”

And apparently Han does.  He soon begins assembling a team of scoundrels to knock off Villachor during Wukkar’s weeklong Festival of Four Honorings.  The team involves experts in information gathering, ship boosting, explosives, misdirection, and notably the experienced “ghost thief” (i.e. cat burglar) Bink Kitik and her techie twin sister, Tavia.  A few faces familiar to longtime Star Wars fans even fill slots on the teams roster:  Rebel superagent, Winter, signs up as a security expert and future Wraith Squadron pilot, Kell Tainer deals with explosives.  Also Han’s estranged friend, Lando Calrissian, mysteriously gets the call to be the team’s frontman.

Of course, things can never go too smoothly for our heroes and these scoundrels face plenty of challenges along the way.  During the festival, Villachor is playing host to one of Black Sun’s nine vigos, a Falleen named Qazadi.  His presence also draws the attention of Dayja, an Imperial Intelligence agent, and his handler.

The majority of the book deals with Han and Company setting up for the heist while various pieces move around the board.  These stories typically involve a large cast of characters and Scoundrels is no exception with 11 members on Solo’s team.   While that number makes it difficult to flesh out each character, Zahn does a good job of balancing the action across his cast so everyone has important parts to play.  Han and Lando are really the stars here, but Bink Kitik is a welcome addition to the Expanded Universe as the feisty, flirty and competent ghost thief.

Zahn typically does a great job of giving his villains more substance than mere mustache-twirling evil doers and he continues that trend.  Agent Dayja manages to be something other than simply an agent of evil.  He feels more like a cog in the Imperial machine, a law enforcement officer working with lethal efficiency.  Villachor is probably the novel’s most surprising character.  Possessed of a lethally short temper, the man is pushed to the brink of breaking as he tries to walk the tightrope that Qazadi’s presence demands while dealing with pressure from the Imperials and threats to his estate’s security.

Eventually, the picture comes into clearer focus as Han’s plan is executed.  We find that the heist is a satisfying flurry of action and suspense making the previous chapters of build up worthwhile.  The book as a whole is peppered with nods to classic and fan favorite Star Wars highlights, right up until the last few lines.  Even a particular swashbuckling archeologist gets a wink during the climactic heist scene.

The only major qualm I had with the book is that sometimes the characterizations felt forced by the story or continuity rather than natural.  Winter was rightly upset by Alderaan’s recent destruction, but it seemed as though we were being told how it upset her rather than ever experiencing it.  Dozer Creed became the character that projected doubt in a successful operation.  He had reason to doubt himself from the beginning and that doubt growing to encompass the heist as a whole became his character’s one tune.

And then there was Han Solo.  Occasionally, he just felt out of character.  Rarely did the cocky Han who would charge singlehandedly after a squad of Stormtroopers show his face.  In this story, he was far more contemplative.  Han responded flatly to Bink’s flirtatious overtures throughout the story.  Often his thoughts revolved around Leia, alternatively considering her a royal pain in the hiney and pining about how she might feel about him.

That being said it was interesting to consider how this adventure might be an important turning point for Solo.  In A New Hope, it was Han, Chewie, and the Falcon against the Galaxy and he liked it that way.  But in Return of the Jedi, we see that he is a general chosen to lead one of the most important land assaults of the war effort.  Could it have been that on Wukkar Han rediscovered his ability to lead talented individuals into difficult situations…?  I digress.

Finally since I got the story in audiobook format, I promised to touch on the sound production.  Star Wars: Scoundrels gets top marks on this front.  Marc Thompson did a great job with the narration.  His voice work for the classic characters was easily recognizable by their respective cadences.  Each member of the large cast had a distinct and fitting vocalization.  The audiobook also featured sound effects to mimic Wookie yells, blasters, and airspeeders.  While the effects were occasionally cheesy, the overall effect was one of an old fashioned radio drama rather than a simple book narration, and that tone fit the novel very well.

So, there you have it.  All told Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn is another fun adventure in the Star Wars Universe.  Very little Expanded Universe knowledge is needed to enjoy this tale set in the middle of the Galactic Civil War, but longtime readers will enjoy the several homages.  Despite its few flaws, the climactic heist makes it a worthwhile read, especially if you’d like your Star Wars with a slow build and a little more suspense.  But… you don’t have to take my word for it.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Great Expectations

I realized something a week or two ago that kind of made me stop in my tracks.  As Episode VII approaches and with more news coming out every week, people are getting increasingly excited.  We have the camps that think the movie should stick strongly to the Thrawn trilogy (doubt that will happen), fans that believe it should be a whole fresh take on Star Wars (this is where I stand), and others who think we should pull in the old heroes to create a common thread in order to hand off the baton to a new generation of characters and create a new Star Wars storyline (I see some of the appeal in that).

What’s interesting about this is that the news of Disney and Episode VII came out on October 30th, almost a month ago, and already we are forming little factions organized around what we want to see in the new trilogy.  As 2015 continues to grow closer, there will be more and more opinions and expectations on how the movie and trilogy should be.

This is exactly the problem.  It’s hard to get excited about a movie as big as this one in our world without forming some sort of expectation on how it should be and I believe that was one of the major problems with the prequels.  People were SO excited and SO happy to be getting more Star Wars movies that the expectations kept getting raised higher and higher.  People were looking for that same feeling they had during the Original Trilogy; they wanted the Star Wars they knew, and it was hard for them to accept Star Wars as it had become.  George Lucas had changed as a director, whether you want to say that he turned into a sell-out or if you want to say he lost touch, whatever you want to say – he had a different vision of how the new prequels should be.

Things will not stay the same, nor should we expect the past to repeat itself.  I know this is easier said than done, but the last thing we should do is create a mental picture in our head of how we will be leaving the movie theater in 2015.  I’m sure so many people went into TPM imagining leaving the theater with a scenario like this:

“Wow, what about that movie, huh?  Wasn’t it amazing?”

“Yeah, dude, I’m so glad Star Wars is back in my life.”

Both their pairs of eyes are glazed over with happiness and warm, fuzzy feelings emit from their soul, creating a glow around them that can be seen for miles.

And then it didn’t happen and instead of accepting that a movie is, after all, just a movie, they decide to hate the prequels, blame George Lucas for ever thinking a Goofy-like character named Jar Jar was a good idea, and lament about how Star Wars has gone downhill for the next 13 years…until they hear the news on October 30th, 2012.  Then they stand up tall and think “Now, here is the chance for Star Wars to be redeemed once more!”  And the cycle repeats itself.

Because no matter what, no matter how awesome this movie is, it will not match all of our expectations.  We didn’t expect the Original Trilogy and that’s why no Star Wars trilogy will ever come close.  When you don’t have pre-conceived notions of how a movie should be, you have the ability to have a transformative experience.

It’s hard…how do you go into this new trilogy where so much of the universe has become your best friend, and try to stay realistic about it?  I’m not saying I don’t want to get excited.  Quite the opposite, I’m super excited!  But I don’t want to have overwhelming feelings of disappointment, so I’m going to try to have realistic expectations.