“At The End of Another Lost Highway”

I re-watched The Phantom Menace on Friday, and the end of Return of the Jedi, to see if the films had any more impact on me as the release date of the final Star Wars film draws ever nearer. It was strange for me to sit and watch The Phantom Menace and not feel the immediate need to begin defending why I was watching it. With a little bit of distance, and with the knowledge of the second film in my head and where the third film is heading, the film was just cool again.

Longtime readers may recall that I loved the movie the first time I saw it. I was never among the Jar-Jar haters, though, like many lazy, hypocritical followers, I eventually made the requisite Jar-Jar jokes. I always was just happy to have another Star Wars film, even if not on par with the original trilogy.

Further proof that I am easy to please: In 2002, I wrote that I, “absolutely adored Attack of the Clones.”

And now that I began re-watching the films in anticipation of the third film, I appreciated them even more. It seemed so strange to be pulling for Anakin in Menace, knowing what he’s going to become. I felt kind of dirty and, half-way through the podrace, I wondered if I should be rooting for him to crash, to save the universe from a lot of misery.

A strange thread: I was unemployed in 1999 when the first prequel came out, then unemployed again in 2002 when the second prequel came out, and now, though I’m not totally unemployed, I am partially unemployed in advance of the third prequel coming out.

Also strange, this quote from the fifth part of my Star Wars Memories series from 2002:

Yeah? It?s almost a certainty that by 2005, when Episode 3 comes out, that Stef and I will have started our family. There may be one or two children that I have to worry about. Will I get to go to a midnight show? It could be awful if I didn?t get to go to a late night show with all the crazed fans, but then I think about something else. Something cool.

I?m gonna get to introduce my kids to these films. What the fuck is that gonna be like? In what order do you show them? Do you play the original trilogy first and then the new trilogy, or do you do it chronological order?

It kind of hurts just to read over those words again. What optimism I had. I guess I couldn’t have possibly seen the trials ahead of us, but I sometimes wish I hadn’t written the things I wrote.