月曜日, 5月 16, 2005

Amen.

I'm pretty right-of-center, but is it really necessary for disgruntled conservative columnists to bash George Lucas and Episode III? Even Glenn Reynolds is laying on the negatives.

For me, conservatism is a relatively recent thing, born out of--but not sustained by--teenage rebellion. The first time I watched Star Wars was when Dad bought us the VHS box set in '93, back when Han still shot first and the Sarlacc didn't have those cool tentacles. My brother Isaac and I went nuts. We would watch A New Hope one weekend, Empire Strikes Back the next, then Return of the Jedi, only to start all over again. I loved ROTJ best because it had Ewoks. Even today, my bro and I can do the Ewok battle cry at the exact moment in John Williams' ROTJ soundtrack. Isaac always preferred ESB, especially when the "cave" is collapsing. Though I grew to appreciate ESB, I spent most of my youth fastforwarding through the "gross" scenes, a.k.a. most of the duel with Vader. My goal was to become Princess Leia, meet Han Solo, and kick Grand Moff Tarkin's ass.

In 4th grade, my wise-cracking best friend and next-door neighbor Bryan founded "SOP"--Society of Popcorn. Our main task was to watch the Original Trilogy until we knew all the lines. Sometimes we'd take a break and play Trivial Pursuit, during which the sore loser is entitled to whack everyone else with a stuffed raccoon. Bryan was the crazy conservative kid in our grade--heck, his hero was Pete Wilson. Mine was FDR. We had long complicated political arguments, or complicated for fourth graders. Bryan and I drifted apart--I still feel guilty about that--but the conservatism sank in. What I miss most, though, are still the times we watched ANH and tried to spout the dialogue a second before the characters. (Very hard with C3PO.)

Those golden days passed. My brother and I bought the Special Edition VHS set in '97 and literally wore it out. (He tried to play ESB again last winter and the tape tore.) We dragged Mom all the way to Taipei and its newest theater to watch The Phantom Menace--she slept through even the Duel of the Fates. For Attack of the Clones, our entire Tae Kwon Do team went, and we spent the rest of the day debating minutiae. Mom put her foot down at our naming the dog "Yoda." So she's officially "Yoko Yoda."

I was a Star Wars fan before I was a conservative. Heck, I'll be a Star Wars fan long after I swing from conservatism to hippy-dippy environmentalism. I can't imagine not loving Episode III when I watch it midnight Wednesday. Yoda can sprout hairy (hairier?) feet and fight to "save the Shire" this Wednesday, and I will love it. Grumpy conservatives can go throw themselves down the Death Star reactor shaft.

Update: Dang, Jaquandor beat me to it.