Thursday, May 05, 2005

You don't know the power of the Dark Side or A (Re)New(ed) Hope

Thursday. Which means another geek out. Man, I miss the Geek Council.

So, obviously, the major news on the Geek front is next week's release of STAR WARS: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. And, due to a recent geek outpouring of skepticism and outright animosity surrounding the current state of the Star Wars franchise, I humbly offer an open letter to all geeks everywhere who have given in to their basest, most negative feelings. This was originally posted on The Geek Council message board a few weeks back. This post is rated PG-13 and contains adult language.

My fellow Geeks. I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Granted, George Lucas has proven himself inept at both writing and direction.

Granted, the last 6 years have unquestionably been tarnished by the disappointing presence of Episodes I and II.

Granted, George Lucas has raped and pillaged our collective childhoods.

Granted, I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.

Granted, the prequels and the re-masters have done nothing but contradict and undermine the brilliance of the original trilogy.

Granted, we no longer owe George Lucas anything after being repeatedly Jar-Jar'ed* with Episodes I and II and disrespected in countless interviews.

*Jar-Jar shall henceforth be known as the Geek term for being fucked. Example: After watching Episode I, I felt as if Lucas had gouged out my eyeballs and skull Jar Jar'ed me.

Granted, the Phantom Menace line "You were the Chosen One," makes me feel physically ill. And granted, there are several moments in Episodes I and II that continue to make me physically ill.

Granted, we've only seen trailers which, by their very nature, show us only glimpses of what could be good about the movie, with approx. 134 minutes of potential shitty movie left to be seen.

Granted, this is all true.

But. My fellow geeks.

We must hold out hope. In Episode III, we have here what we have really been waiting for, and that's some serious carnage. The destruction of the Old Republic. Wookies. Plural. Yoda with wookies. Plural. Remember when we were promised that Wookie battle in Jedi but then we got Ewoks instead? Wookie battle. Volcano fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The Emperor. The Emperor in all his Sith glory. The Emperor kicking a lot of Jedi ass. Vader. Vader kicking a lot of Jedi ass. Yoda. Yoda kicking ass and getting his Jedi ass kicked. Beheadings. Jedi beheadings. Serious, serious Jedi beatdowns.

Forget the last 2 movies. Just. Forget. Them. Forget what was. Focus on what will be.

Geeks. Geeks. Did you see the shot of the Emperor in a lightsaber dual with three fucking Jedi Masters? Did you see the fucking WOOKIES? Did you see Natalie Portman?! Natalie Portman, geeks!

My fellow geeks. We are not geeks because the genre has treated us well. We are not geeks because we have ever been respected. We did not tune in weekly to watch Buck Rogers because it was good sci-fi (it was not). We did not watch every second of "V" because it fully lived up to its potential (it never did). We did not adore Adam West's Batman because it was a respectful portrayal of the Dark Knight (the Batusi?! The Bat-fucking-tusi?!). We have always taken what we have been given, and we have allowed our imaginations to make the best of it. And we have loved it all, despite the disappointment.

Star Wars has survived in spite of itself. From the beginning, it hit the rocky shores of Bea Arthur and the 1978 Holiday Special. And yet, The Empire Strikes Back followed that abomination. We have survived animated Ewoks and Droids cartoons, 2 live-action Ewok adventures, and Boba Fett being accidentally knocked into the Sarlacc Pit. And this was all done when Star Wars was still considered sacred. We can no more judge Revenge of the Sith by Episode I than we could have judged the original Star Wars by THX 1138.

If we have learned nothing else from Star Wars, we know that it is ultimately a story about redemption. Like Darth Vader, Lucas has stumbled down the all-powerful path of the Dark Side. But we must hold out hope that he can still be turned. We must have faith - just as Luke had faith in Vader - that Lucas will ultimately do what is right. Luke never gave up on Vader. Despite how evil Vader had become, Luke believed that there was still good in him. And despite how evil Lucas has become, we must believe that there is still hope. Star Wars is ours. And we must not root for Lucas' failure; we must hope for his redemption.

Star Wars is probably THE most important institution in all of Geekdom, and like the Jedi Knights of the Old Republic, we must do our best to protect it. And that requires not just forgiveness for past sins, but also faith in the future. For isn't that, in its purest form, what Star Wars is truly about? If it means once again being stabbed through the heart after watching Episode III, so be it. That is the risk I am willing to take. And as good and noble Geeks, that is the risk we must all be willing to take.

Justice demands the benefit of the doubt, despite all evidence to the contrary. Luke held out hope, and so must we.

My brothers and sisters, we MUST have faith. Not just for Lucas' sake, and not just for our own sakes, but for the sake of all of Geekdom. It is...our destiny.