Awaiting the Prequels

Karl Martino – written about two months before the release of A Phantom Menace

It’s been over sixteen years that me and so many others have been waiting. Ever since seeing “Episode IV” at the beginning of the scroll, we hoped and waited. I didn’t believe it would happen. I’m sure many others didn’t either. The return of Star Wars and the long promised prequels. Wow.

When I saw the Star Wars re-release video tapes (pre-special edition) and the three part interview with George Lucas, my heart sprung. He said he was preparing to film! I could hardly believe it. Then the rumors on the net spread and then the release of the teaser trailer! It’s true!

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, what gets me is this… it (the trailer) felt like Star Wars! This leads me to believe the movie will too! How could that be? I’m sixteen years older! Havn’t I grown more cynical and weary of a good story?

I routinely rip Star Trek these days for losing what it once was. I no longer watch TV (except for maybe Buffy The Vampire Slayer, X-Files, and Xena), because everything sucks. And sci-fi? Well, it has hit hard times. Lots of trash. Fantasy? No-go. There have been plenty of great movies dealing with reality. But for like five years, I have had little pleasure with sci-fi/fantasy movies, except for the Bond series which is back better than ever. I take pot shots at all sorts of “entertainment” these days.

I know I’m not alone in this. Isn’t this the Gen-X way? We’re just a bunch of jaded bastards. We see through marketing ploys like laser beams and realize everyone is out to make a buck, bottom line. Every hero, politican, or otherwise is fair game for demolishing. Musicians, authors, artists, everyone is torn down on the alter of dishonesty. We still buy the product. But we never feel that what we are buying into is genuine and it saddens the whole lot of us. We have been diminished into bickering, critical, nasty snobs where even the slightest mistake (“ewww man – you can see that they only used 1 billion polygons in that frame – what the hell?!?”) is reason to disbelieve or hate.

In my humble opinion, we look for reasons to do this, time and again with everything, and I do mean everything, God, country, politics, and all. We are afraid of being let down. We are deathly afraid of it. On top of that, we are afraid to be (or look like) the only ones let down, so we hide our belief, our enthusiasm, or attempt to drag people down with us.

I’m not sure why my generation is like this. Maybe because we are children of the Vietnam/Nixon/Kennedy/Martin Luther King Jr.generation. Maybe because Reagan couldn’t remember? Maybe the Challenger accident, or Lennon? “I didn’t inhale”, Pee-Wee Herman, Jimmy Swaggert? I just don’t know.

Why is it not this way for Star Wars? It seems to defy it somehow. In a magical way Star Wars makes us believe in a complete fantasy world. Where good is good and evil is evil and dorky can become knights and the fallen can become angels. Where Princesses can fall in love with smugglers and kids can overcome their parents’ legacies. More importantly, we let it take us there.

In the past, this was no big deal, but as you can tell now, we are letting it do it again. In these cynical times. Somehow. Someway.

As I await the prequels, I hope it doesn’t do what the movie Batman did to us all. Damn, there I go again! It is going to be awesome! I know it! I can’t wait!

Luke: “I don’t beleive it!”
Yoda: “That is why you fail”