May the Fourth Be with You

amadeus-11Apparently today was Star Wars Day. Who knew? (Apparently most Star Wars fans except this guy.) So today I’m going to talk about how I discovered Star Wars, and I’m curious to hear your story in the comments too.

I was born in 1981, a few years after the original Star Wars movie was released. However, I knew nothing about the franchise until summer camp in 1993, when one of my seminars involved watching Amadeus and Star Wars (a very odd association that I’ve never quite been able to shake).

As soon as I saw Star Wars, I knew I wanted more. Fortunately the full trilogy was available for my viewing pleasure, and I watched them many, many times. My brother and I endlessly discussed the movies and the various ships in the Star Wars universe. I even designed a board game using the Star Wars Micro Machines.

It seems so long ago now, but I remember being SO excited when they re-released the original trilogy in theaters. That was my first time seeing the movies on the big screen, and it was epic. Star Wars is meant to be experienced that way.

Of course, all of that preceded the release of the new trilogy. This is where I have a confession to make. In hindsight, I know that the Episode I is not a good movie. As a Star Wars fan, I probably should not enjoy that movie, and I have no desire to watch it now.

But when The Phantom Menace was released in 1999, I saw it 4 times in the theater.

Yeah…that happened. It’s the only movie I’ve ever seen 4 times in the theater, and it’s a movie that I shouldn’t have seen more than once. But it was so, so amazing to watch new Star Wars content on the big screen. I got chills watching the first scene with young Obi-Wan fighting the robots, that epic John Williams theme rippling through the Dolby surround sound. And I really enjoyed the pod race and the underwater scene where big monsters keep getting eaten by bigger monsters. I’d watch a full movie just of that.

I really can’t wait for the next step in the Star Wars journey to begin next year. JJ Abrams announced most of the cast last week, and I was happy to see some of the old cast returning (most likely to die in the first movie, unfortunately). Winter 2015, right? Regardless of the quality of the movie, I can’t wait to be transported back to the days of creepy Mozart once again.


2 Responses to “May the Fourth Be with You”

  1. Joe Babbitt says:



    …ugh.

    Admitting that you overpaid to see The Phantom Menace more than once is equally as bad as me camping out for about 12 hours to get opening night tickets. Actually, no, yours is worse because with my crime, no one knew how terrible it was going to be. The silver lining of the SW prequels is that is gave us the scathingly hilarious Red Letter Media reviews, which you should watch if you haven’t. It’s a meticulous dissection of everything that made those movies terrible put in a really funny context. Given, some of the humor is an annoying shock value distraction that detracts from the otherwise brilliant content, but it’s totally worth watching.

    I’m one of the relatively few geeks who really liked the Abrams Trek movies (Trek purists tend to be ambivalent at best. Obviously I’m not a Trek purist.) so I’m hopeful that Episode 7 will be solid. One thing’s for sure, it can’t *possibly* be worse…right?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Unfortunately, I think my transgression was much worse than yours. Like you said, you didn’t know what you were getting into. I did, time after time.

      I’ve never been much of Star Trek fan, but I’ve been entertained by both JJ Abrams Trek movies. I think he’ll bring something new to the Star Wars universe, perhaps even something that we only got to experience in Episode 5.

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