Star Wars: A Geek’s Tale: Episode XXVI

From an e-mail to friends in May, 2005

revengeThe big day is nearly here.  In less than twenty-four hours I will have seen Revenge of the Sith not just once, but twice.  I feel like a school kid all over again.

Two months ago I was still weighing my options as to when I would see the movie.  I had known for months that the movie’s release date was on one of my work days.  I was considering waiting until after work to see the movie.  The geek in me just couldn’t accept this option.

Some of my friends at work were giving me the business about the new movie one day, asking how I was going to handle the fact that it came out on our day to work.  I told them half-jokingly that I was going to get somebody to work it for me.  One of my coworkers handed me a coverage agreement.  I laughed at him but he said, “Hey, what the hell?  Might as well do it now.”  I saw the wisdom in his words and filled out and posted the agreement.

It took a few weeks before somebody from the opposite day shift finally signed the agreement, guaranteeing me the day off.  I handed it to our shift’s facilitator to get his signature on it, made a few copies for safekeeping and filed the papers away.

The weeks dragged by.  At least once a week, one of my coworkers would ask me how long until the movie came out.  At first the answer was given in months.  Before long I was able to answer in weeks and finally got to the point where I could answer his question in the number of days.  Somebody made a point to ask if I was getting excited.  What a stupid question, I thought to myself.

As the weeks passed I buried myself in all things Star Wars.  I gave in to my desires and bought up more and more of the merchandise that was available.  Everything from items at the grocery store to the toys, books and magazines that were coming out on a daily basis were fair game to me.

A long delayed project in my new home has been painting one or two of my bedrooms.  Someone at work described how he used to have one of his rooms decorated for his Star Wars collection.  I seized upon this and decided that one of my spare rooms was going to be my shrine to the movies.  I’ve been tossing some ideas around in my head on how to paint one wall of the room.  Darth Vader figures prominently in all of them.

I started playing an online video game that took place in the Star Wars universe following Luke’s destruction of the first Death Star.  My character was named Seamus O’Malley and he dabbled in all of the professions available to him.  The game was a huge amount of fun until the game developers came out with an upgrade that destroyed what I enjoyed about it.  I gave up on the game a week ago and picked up “Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords” to play in its stead.

I started to read “Legacy of Evil”, the book that leads into the events of Revenge of the Sith.  For some reason I can’t explain, most of the Star Wars books just don’t do it for me and this one has been no different.  I’m only about one third of the way through it.  Perhaps I’ll finish it after seeing the movie.

Along my path to the new movie, I felt myself being drawn to the Dark Side of fandom.  I got caught up with a fever to buy and sell Star Wars items on eBay.  It didn’t bother me to sell for a big profit those items that I already owned.  What bothered me most was buying up items and planning to sell them to those less fortunate in their search.  It bothered me when people did that, thus keeping me from finding what I was looking for.  How could I justify doing that to others?

I took my first step back to the Light by giving the Celebration III talking Darth Vader figure I planned to sell on eBay to my nephew for his birthday.  I took another step by fighting back the urge to buy all of the Super Deformed Darth Vader exclusives at Kmart today.  I’ve started feeling good about myself again.  Now I need to find a home for my extra Darth Taters.

A few weeks ago at work I started signing my paperwork “Studevader” as a joke.  Only a couple people have noticed it or at least told me they noticed it.  I almost considered legally changing my name but the thought of explaining it to my parents and grandma set me straight.

My team at work recently had a carry-in lunch.  I took in a couple bags of Lays potato chips because of their Star Wars promotion.  I found a Darth Vader sticker in one of the bags and stuck it to the front of my hard hat.  Nobody seemed too surprised by this.

Two weeks ago I purchased my first ticket to Revenge of the Sith through an online service and picked up the ticket last week.  I held off on buying a second ticket for later in the afternoon; I was still thinking about going to the midnight showing.  The thought of hundreds of screaming idiots and throwing off my sleep pattern convinced me that a midnight show was not in my best interest.  Yesterday I ordered a second ticket for tomorrow’s 4:00 show.

The last step of preparation came last night when I found some new Star Wars icons and sounds on AOL.  I changed my Buddy Icon from Paul Sr. of American Chopper fame to the Evil Anakin icon and changed my O.C.C. Buddy Wallpaper to the Luke Skywalker wallpaper.  Then I changed the “Welcome” sound that greets me to AOL to Yoda saying “I am wondering, why are you here?”, changed the “You’ve Got Mail” alert to a beeping R2-D2 and changed the “Goodbye” message to Obi-Wan’s “The Force will be with you — Always.”

The news today has been filled with coverage of the dorks standing in lines all over the country.  Fox & Friends played up their Star Wars coverage all morning, playfully poking fun at the fans.  Glenn Beck, a nationally-syndicated radio host that I listen to on WOWO, covered the lines and the new movie this morning.  Every news report on the radio talked about the movie.  Pat White and the Queen, the local afternoon radio program hosts on WOWO, spent much of their airtime talking about the lines at the local theaters and their plans for watching the movie.  All of this coverage drove it home to me just how close the movie is.

The end of this long road is now in sight.  My preparations are now complete.  I am ready.  Filled with nervous energy, but I am ready all the same.

I’m sitting here with a grin a mile wide.

This is gonna be fun.

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