In a little less than two months, Star Wars Episode VIII – The Force Awakens will premiere in movie theaters around the globe. And in all likelihood, I will be surround by a packed crowd all by my lonesome.
My wife, as amazing as she is, is honestly too cool for me. I don’t know how I lucked out, but damn. Sometimes it helps. She knows what’s “in”, and despite my best efforts, keeps me from leaving the house looking like a kindergartner who dressed himself.
However, there are other times, as is this case, where that’s a bad thing. Sorry babe. Any time I’ve mentioned going to this movie, I get the “What about so and so….?” I get it, you don’t want to go. But did I want to go watch the soft-core porn known as 50 Shades of Grey? Well, sort of. But not at all for the story (I mean come on, have you actually read that book from a literary point of view?) Did I begrudgingly sit by your side on Valentines Day, hoping that all this gratuitous nudity and flogging would somehow turn you on, and work out in my favor later that night? Okay, yeah, you’re right, there was that.
But seriously, this is probably the one movie we could go to where you wouldn’t have to worry about me whipping out my lightsaber afterwards. I have a feeling that this is what it felt like to see the original movies in the theaters back in the day. If the anticipation and excitement that has built up over the last three years since Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, and promised a new trilogy is any indication, my nerdgasm will be in full effect.
But sadly, I can’t even place the blame solely on her. My awesome, super-nerdy 6 year old daughter has rejected me too. The same kid who has spent the last 3-4 years carefully playing with my own Star Wars action figure collection, and has seen the original trilogy, the bastardized prequel trilogy, the Clone Wars movie, and entire series, and was absolutely fascinated by the first season of Star Wars Rebels has declined my offer to take her along. I have failed as a nerdy father. I’m beginning to think she has been using me for my toys all along.
In her defense however, I’ve been hyping this movie up to her since it was announced. And three years may seem like a reasonable time frame to make a movie as an adult. But when those same three years have been half of your life, I could almost understand the loss of interest.
Please, have you met Thing #2?! The same 2 year old that can barely sit still long enough to use the bathroom. God forbid I ask her to remain calm and attentive for two hours or more. In a dark room. With lots of people around. And knowing her, she’d be climbing over the seats around us, and stage diving into other rows of unsuspecting nerds. I’d probably just have to pretend she wasn’t mine, bitch about her to the people sitting nearby, (“Those people need to get their damn kid under control!”) and go back to watching the movie. Yeah, that could totally work… Either way, someone would be in trouble when we finally made it back home.
But the sad truth of it is, I don’t want to go by myself. Because honestly, those f’ing people scare me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can quote just about every scene from every movie. And I know more about the history of this galaxy far far away, than many people know about their own country’s history. I’m a nerd, there’s no way around it.
I think back to last month’s Force Friday… the big reveal and launch of all the new Star Wars merchandise. Yup, I was there. 11:55pm Thursday night, waiting outside our local Super Target, for the doors to open at midnight. The line continued along the entire front of the store, wrapping around the corner near the end. We all stood there, waiting impatiently for the employees to let us in. And it was then that I began to question my existence among my fellow Star Wars fans.
Man, these guys are nerdy! read the text I sent to my wife.
Ha ha, she replied.
Ha ha? I see what you did there. Making fun of me for making fun of them. I’m not really one of them though, right? I’m not that bad. I’m cooler than that.
One of the redshirts blew an air horn, and the doors were thrown open. The first several of us through the doors had our wits about us, and calmly, but excitedly hurried towards the shelves that housed our treasured bounties. It’s amazing how eerily quiet a large store like that can be when there’s no one inside. That peacefulness was quickly shattered though, as the sound of buggies racing along the tile floor behind us became deafening; the noise echoing through the empty aisles. Wait a minute, what’s happening? You guys were all friendly and laid back outside. And now you’re Usain Bolt. How the hell does that happen??
So now, the guys that were overly friendly a mere moments ago, are now the enemy. The Boba Fett to my Han Solo. I can’t have that. Han shot first, remember? My pace quickened and I soon found myself amid the freshly shelved toys, clothes, costumes, and accessories. I grabbed a couple items off the pegs to add to my collection at home (and it’s a good thing I did, as they were the last ones). I calmly proceeded to the front of the store, checked out and returned home to share my purchases and tales with the wifey.
“You good?” she asked. “So, I can go to bed now?”
Fast forward a month and a half to the day that ticket pre-sales opened. Records were broken. And not just broken, but completely destroyed. And so I turn to my wife over dinner one night, knowing that as a student she can purchase tickets from her university for a reduced price. “So can you go ahead and pick up two tickets to Star Wars?”
“Why don’t you see if [Insert random name] wants to go?”