These are the End Times, or Yes, Dammit, I'm Excited About Star Wars.
Believe it or not, I find this to be a sure sign that things are going pretty alright in my life:
I found a Clone Commander on my way home from work today. I'm not a collector by any stretch, but I have a healthy sense of what is Cool, and Cool this is. I'm a 28 year old guy. I do not live in my parents' basement, and I have a good job. Hell, I even have a girlfriend (and she's hot, by gum). And yet, hot damn, finding this Clone Commander got my blood going.
You can say whatever the hell you want about George Lucas, and people have. Folks harp on the Special Editions and crap all over the prequels with cries of "he ruined my childhood!" or the incessant "Greedo shot first!" Some of Lucas' decisions upset me a bit, too, but, you know, ultimately he gave us freaking STAR WARS. Editorial quibbles are just that, quibbles. You've still got your old VHS tapes of the original trilogy. When you're done crying, pull them out.
I was born in '76, and my dad took me to the theater for each of the original films, in some cases, several times. For "Jedi," we were on our way to a Tiger Cubs meeting, and my dad gave me the choice, go to Tiger Cubs, or quit that weak shit and go see "Jedi" instead. The decision was clear, and I've been a bit socially inept ever since. It's a nice little bond I have with my dad. Birthdays and holidays were always about Star Wars toys. Saving proofs of purchase sometimes meant receiving cool toys and accessories in the mail and the anticipation that came from waiting for the mailman to show up each day.
The excitement I had for the Special Editions and prequels wasn't just about the movies. It was about being able to experience the excitement of a 10 year old boy again in the midst of the nonsense of an adult life. It was a bridge back to a time when little things would make you realize just how great the world could be. I've got a bit of that now, and it feels pretty nice. Tonight, I found a Clone Commander, and stuff feels good.
What happens after I've seen Episode III? Lots of people talk about having a sort of bittersweet feeling as the movies are all done. I don't really see it like that. Star Wars changed the world a bit. The genie's out of the bottle, so to speak, and I don't thing we'll ever be through with it. There will always be something new, be it a Darth Vader Slurpee, the new TV series, or just some really cool toys. If at any point I find myself bitching about bills, I'm pretty certain there will be something there to elicit a little bit of wonder and joy.