Tuesday, May 24, 2005

My Star Wars

If you have come here for a review, dissapear.
There have been too many reviews, all saying different things, most saying almost the same things. But I must write, so I think I will write about watching the last Star Wars movie on its day of release because that is inevitable, but I will write more about how, rather late in my life, I grew to be a Star Wars fan and how rabid I have since become.

* * *

Artoo. Yeah, it was with R2D2 that my voyage began. Truthfully though, I'd heard about Star Wars and the phenomenon it had become, earlier, but I really couldnt care, until this. Until Artoo. It was as late as 1996. A professor, who had a reputation of performing blood baths over copies that journalism students wrote, had some influence over me, nevertheless. And his email id was artoo. His passwords were all artoo (No, he didn't tell us. :)).

And so I asked him, in my ignorance, if Artoo was what they called him at home. "Oh, no, no, no," he said with his characteristic laugh, his breath reeking of Charminar cigarettes. " Haven't you heard of artoodeetoo?" "No," I said, "Tell me."

Then he sat me down and told me all about Star Wars - and its creator, George Lucas. About the Galaxy and the Senate, droids and clones, C-3PO, Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. He also told me, with a sparkle in his eyes, about the sand people, Master Yoda and the light sabres. There were no prequels then. He gave me a reading list and said "Go read." Then he shook my hand and said, "May the Force be with you."

At the end of the two hours we spent discussing this in his cabin on the first floor, I had grown immune to cigarette smoke and I had found myself a new obsession.

An obsession that was fueled by a friend who now has a Ph.D., who was, to say the least, rabid. Lucas was God to him and his circle of geeks. And while we waited for our food at Pecos, he'd tell us all about the inter-galactic wars, the power of the Jedi,the Dark Forces, the Force: How they should all be worshipped. Young and impressionable then, I'd swallow all this eagerly, and satiated, I'd push my plate of uneaten vegetable steak towards him. For him, eating was never a problem.

I read like crazy and later, surfed like one possessed. The more I read, the more I needed my dose of Inter-galactic fix. I subsribed to a Star Wars fan group; hunted for VCDs to watch alone on my desk-top; spent the better part of a Rs.10,000 cash award on Star Wars books and watched all the prequels. Like the Matrix, which was to dominate the rest of my movie-watching adult life, in my early twenties, I could quote out of Star Wars, with my eyes shut! My favourite was the metallic-distorted voice of Darth Vader telling Luke Skywalker, "I am your father."

* * *

On Friday night, when I watched Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, it was like coming full circle. As if a voyage, begun nine years ago, had ended. It seemed that all these years I had waited to see how Anakin Skywalker would shift horses midstream, how a Jedi would become Darth Vader. So much so, the movie left me a trifle disappointed. The scene where Anakin makes the decision to throw his lot with Darth Sidious, Lord of the Siths, was tame - like his reasons were unconvincing. Perhaps it is me, I had too many expectations, perhaps it was Hayden Christiansen.

The visuals are impressive as the sfx, light sabre wars outstanding, R2D2 entertaining (in the beginning), Padme gorgeous. BUT, at the end of my metaphoric voyage of the galaxy, it is like my vessel has crashlanded. I've come home, but with disappointment.
The hardcore Star Wars fan that I am, I tried not to let that thing worry me. After all, it is STAR WARS and I was literally watching a first-day-first-show! Besides, the Force is always with us, though Anakin Skywalker no longer is.

* * *

Prof. Artoo is no more now. But I can still dedicate this post to him - the man who brought the Force into my life.



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