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I Don’t Get Star Wars, But I Plan to Change That

When the first trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens came out, I had no reaction other than one of confusion. Why were people so hyped about a round robot rolling through a desert, or someone dressed up as a storm trooper, or that “the Darkness, and the Light,” line from whoever? Heck, people were excited about Han Solo and Chewbacca showing up at the end saying, “We’re home.” Why?

I don’t get it. I mean, I get the character names and suchlike. I have a vague knowledge of who they are, with Star Wars so permeated into mainstream culture, not to mention geek culture. But I still don’t get it.

That’s probably because I first experienced Star Wars through the prequels.

I hated the prequels. I hated them with a passion. Nevertheless I saw all three, thanks to my company’s idea that watching the newest Star Wars movies would be a treat for overworked engineers. That probably just made me hate them more.

Everything that could be said about the prequels—from their shoddy execution, to the questionable acting and even more questionable script, even to a supposed redemption as a ring composition—has been said. Believe me, I take joy in watching YouTube videos that ripped into every one of these movies at length. I hated them that much.

Arguably, that much hate also means I was intrigued, but sorely disappointed.

Nevertheless, my passionate disgust faded over time, and I simply didn’t care about Star Wars.

Sure, Darths & Droids redeemed certain parts of the prequels for me (of course the water dinosaur ponies would be thought up by a young child with an excited imagination). But when the prequel screenshots ended, I said goodbye, because I just didn’t care about the original series that much.

Sure, I ended up investigating the Star Wars: The Card Game because I like Eric Lang’s game designs and tend to view theme as icing rather than cake. It covers only original trilogy territory thus far, so I didn’t mind playing it. (It’s actually rather good, if a bit abstract, but since I don’t care about the theme as much, it’s refreshing.)

But little by little, my interest in the original series began to be piqued. The card game had, like all of Fantasy Flight’s games, great artwork. There was a sense of a world and a mythology there. Plus Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader were the awesomest character cards to have around, from the base set at least. And the light and dark mechanics intrigued me.

And of course, there’s that Junot Díaz quote about requiring his students to watch Star Wars.

Maybe Star Wars had more to offer after all.

Up until now, I didn’t give a damn about the old series.

I decided this November to change that. Before we see the new movie in December, I’m going to watch all three in the original Star Wars trilogy, and tell you about my experiences. I’m sure you’ll have your laughs—I’m told there are some humdinger twists, but I’ve seen Toy Story 2, so how bad could it be?

And then, regardless of whether I hate the original series as much as the prequels, I’m also going to watch and review the seventh movie in this… series.

Join me for the ride. I’m either going to completely hate it and have a cathartic series of posts, or I’m going to truly enjoy myself and have a cathartic series of posts. Win-win.

Ava Jarvis née Arachne Jericho is a freelance writer, techie, and geek. By day she writes about high-tech topics, and by night she writes about board games at her blog, the Elemeeple.


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