Committed to the Force: The Pre-Game

11 April 2016 by 34 Comments

Standing outside on the back patio of my favorite local bar, I was silent among my group of friends who were rhapsodizing, dissecting, the most recent film from the Star Wars series. Like I usually do when people start discussing these movies, daydreams filled my mind, thoughts of to-do lists and memories of the day. So, when one of my friends asked if I had seen it yet, it took me a minute to jerk myself out of a serious fantasy about stagediving at a Red Aunts show to answer, “Oh, I’ve never seen any of them.”

Dead. Fucking. Silence.

I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about this quoted by Emma from Glee.

In this group of all dudes, maybe 27 to late thirties, where reading tastes definitely run more sci fi than anything else, the idea that I could never have experienced this pillar of culture was un-fucking-believable. Those ten seconds of silence fell away almost immediately, replaced by a litany of questions that was downright musical in delivery. The heavy drone of Why would you wait mixed with the drippy Why aren’t you watching them right the fuck now really characterized the mood of the whole night. Notes of disbelief and hope peppered the But you know the story right, and the choral arrangement on How the fuck is that possible goddammit was seriously beautiful.

No joke, I got more shit for this than when I came out as bisexual years ago. Casually dropping a “my girlfriend” into conversations usually yielded a raised eyebrow at most, and when I point blank asked a friend if he didn’t think it was, like, a fucking SURPRISE to hear about a her instead of a him, he responded with, “No fucking shit you like women. Duh.”

Consider me, then, officially, publicly out as a Star Wars virgin.

Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve avoided them so long. Somehow, in the perfect storm of not ever caring much about TV, plus getting two degrees in They-Tell-You-What-To-Read, plus teaching like I’m getting paid for it (I’m not), I missed them. Like any True American, I have some kind of idea about what they’re about – cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians – but it’s this mishmash, not fully formed little fetus of an idea.

For 32 years I’ve skated by, skirting conversations about the Force and smirking along with the crowd at gold bikini jokes, but no more. I’m here today prepared to make this thing a reality.  In the coming weeks I’m watching all the movies in the series in the order of their appearance.  I’m also tacking Spaceballs on at the end because I’ve seen that movie a bunch of times (IKNOWRITE) and it’s just funny.  Also, because I can’t do this alone, my partner in crime is my main dude Eric, who will be there to answer questions, clear up confusing bits, and geek out as his girlfriend slowly starts to understand 58% of his jokes.

So, before having seen any of the films, here’s what I know about Star Wars.

  1. There is a Teddy Bear Planet.
  2. Main people:  one teenager, Indiana Jones, and a girl with two hair buns.
  3. An alien who looks like a pile of puke likes the girl (Leah?) in a very uncomfortable-looking gold bikini.
  4. Every teenager jerked off to that bikini in, like, 1989?
  5. The Sith people are like the Wicked Witch’s monkey army in Wizard of Oz.
  6. They also have names like Sith Bad or Sith Terrible.
  7. One planet has a bar where someone plays a song that this terrible singer covered last week in a bar here.
  8. Someone is named Jar Jar Binks, and I hope it’s a cat.
  9. Leah? is the sister of the teenager or Indiana Jones, and they MAKE OUT HARD sometimes.
  10. There is a war happening.  Totally a war.  Darth Vadar vs. the Teenager, Hair Buns, and Indiana Jones.
  11. Darth Vadar is a boy’s dad but is he Leah’s?
  12. The opening looks like Galaga.

hope to see you after I watch the first film in the series, A New Hope.  Do you see what I did there.

Committed to the Force poster


A girl walks into a bar and says, "Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?" Take that joke and add tacos, whiskey, records, and literary theory and you get me.

34 thoughts on “Committed to the Force: The Pre-Game

    • I thought pretty hard about this, Juan, and sj suggested this too, but I’m going with date of publication so I can be as close to the ‘authentic experience’ as possible, mostly because I’m writing this instead of just watching for pleasure.

      • Can you have anything that’s really close to the “authentic experience” without having the non-special editions, though? Since they’re harder to find (unless you’re willing to download fan edits), what you’re watching can’t really be considered authentic, because Lucas went back and changed/added things 25 years later.

        • I mean, I feel you, and I get the Machete Order reasoning…I like this idea, though, because it’s just as close as I can get to what it would’ve been like. Even so, there are some things I already know (even if some or all are wrong), so it’s a flawed experiment from the get go. A fun one, though.

      • Trust me when I say that you can get an authentic experience by skipping ALL OF THE PREQUELS, especially the first one. You will save yourself a mind-numbing pile of politics AND Jar JAr Binks. I beg you.

  1. This whole post is hilarious but for some reason I lost it at “there is a Teddy Bear planet”.

    I am looking forward to seeing your thoughts on them. I’ve seen all of them except the new one, but it’s been a long time. :)

  2. Star Wars, or, I suppose there are worse things to be a fan of. Sorry, I just can’t get hype for it. I’m just more of someone who loves stuff like Saga more.

    • This is part of why I’m doing this; I’ve never been on board, but so many people are, so I’m checking it out. I’m not familiar with the Saga stuff either, so maybe that will be my next endeavor!

      • Saga is one of those comic books that gets you into reading comic books – especially if you hate, really hate how women are portrayed in most DC/Marvel comics (Greg Land is an infamous example, who drew his females by tracing got dammed porn and did it more than a few times to his iterations of poor Wolverine, right down to drawing people’s favorite characters seemingly in the middle of money shots/with “o” faces). Yeaahh, Dark Horse and Vertigo (technically DC) make the best stuff.

        But I digress. It’s unfair to compare Star Wars to Saga, when Saga is a Science Fiction epic, but it’s also an amazing drama, its comedy and action are on point, and the art and dialogue are award winning, to the point where it’s sort of a phenomenon in the comic book world at the moment. It’s also one of those things that people rave about as an example of exactly how to write women, whose female characters are so well made and the dimensional that it makes the morons who have turned Harley Quinn into a slutty go-go dancer look like inept fools – which they are.

    • Wait – I forgot that I adore Red Letter Media’s scathing (hilarious) in depth reviews of the prequel movies. You know, where Mike voices a lunatic whose age keeps changing, who killed his wife and who keeps women down in his basement – but who really has strong opinions to the point of anal retentive about the Star Wars and Star Trek movies (I never said it wasn’t really dark comedy).

      But that’s about it for Star Wars.

      • Whoa, that sounds pretty rad. Part of my aversion to comic books as a kid was how aggressive the men seemed and how powerless the women were; as an adult, I haven’t consciously avoided them, more just out of habit. In the last couple of years, though, I’ve had so many people direct me to certain comics that I’m sure I’ll be reading some after classes this summer. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. I am 33 and only recently saw Star Wars for the first time. My die-hard Star Wars friends who forced me to watch them said I didn’t even need to bother with the prequels. This was my pre-knowledge:
    Luke and Leia are twins.
    Obi-Wan is our only hope.
    There are droids but not the ones we’re looking for.
    The Death Star is not a moon.
    And everything from that YouTube video where a 3-year old explains Star Wars.

  4. I’m not going to say anything about how late you are coming to the party, I’m just glad you’re showing up. I hope you have fun and May The Force Be With You.

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