Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sweating the Small Stuff

But how many votes does it take to make a quorum in the Senate?

We take a brief pause in our "How I Got An Agent Series" to discuss this.

Star Wars!

This blog entry will be my spoiler free review ... eh, that's not quite right.  Spoiler free, yes, but more my personal musings on the experience of seeing the most hyped movie of all time.  I mean, really, it is, isn't it? 

Full disclosure, I'm a major Star Wars nerd.  People closest to me know this all too well.  Most strangers seem even able to pick up on this despite the fact that I don't go around in Jedi robes trying to explain away the different kinds of hands (flippers, hooves) on Ponda Baba in the cantina scene of A New Hope.

But that aside, I do love me some Star Wars.  I was indoctrinated into the series at a young age, much like a militarized clone trooper, and have never looked back.  My interest and appreciation of the various movies have changed and morphed as I've aged and I love the original three for all new reasons as an adult and dad as I did as a kid.  And yes, my son loves them too.  He wasn't so sure at first, but he enthusiastically confirmed it after a long, cold night spent sleeping on the ground in the backyard.  It's all good!

All kidding aside, my son actually sees merit in the prequels.  And I try to fake it for him.  But, really, while die hard fans will find a way to espouse the virtues of Episodes 1 -3, everybody knows they pretty much blow.  Take away their association with the three better movies, and Star Wars would never have been a big thing.

That's why Episode VII was and is such a big deal.  That's why it's the most anticipated Star Wars movie ever.  The series has been coasting by on goodwill for decades.  And the original three were that good.  But the goodwill was just about dried up.  Even Uncle George recognized it, selling off the property and the farm (just not the ranch) to Disney while the getting was still good.  Now I can enthusiastically say (without a night spent in the backyard).  It's all good!

I was one of the nuts who saw The Force Awakens on Thursday night.  The movie pulled me in immediately.  It's sooooo Star Wars!  The acting was excellent, the dialogue was excellent (ok, in those ways maybe it wasn't very Star Wars) but I loved the new characters.  Yes, J.J. Abrams leaned heavily on what came before, but how could he get away with not?  And there was at least equal measures of freshness as well.  A great balance, a balance to the force that whiny chosen one Annie Skywalker never accomplished. 

At the end of the movie I was left with a nagging feeling.  Did I love it?  Could I love it the way I did when I was so young, is that even possible anymore?  I actually left that first showing a little disappointed.  And that was inevitable.  You can't live up to the hype this movie has experienced.  And I realized, as a writer, I was over-analyzing the plot.  Yes, I do that a lot.  The big strokes were there, but I was worrying about the details.  Some of the backstories, the political state of the galaxy at large.  I felt I'd missed something.  For a second, I actually longed for Uncle George's wooden exposition.  I just need to know how this galaxy resolves trade route disputes!   

So I let a few days pass.  Thinking back, I realized I actually didn't remember what was in the opening crawl.  I remembered most scenes, but very little of what was said in them.  During the weekend, I picked up a couple of awesome books that included backstory and exposition on the state of things thirty years after the Endor Ewok Dance Party.  I satiated my writer's need to understand the hows and the whys.  I also came to understand why it wasn't included in the movie.  It's great for a read but it would have greatly slowed down the movie, and I'm really happy they stuck close to the two hour mark.  I never felt LOTR was well served by it's 74 hour running time.

On Monday, I went back and had the Star Wars experience I'd been waiting for.  I was able to be swept up in the excitement, the drama, the stakes.  Everything was there and I was literally on the edge of my seat.  Star Wars was back!  It's true.  The rave reviews, the critical acclaim. All of it. 

The force was calling to me all along.  I just had to let it in!

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