I recently ran into a conundrum..... My daughter, an extremely sweet and funny 8 year old, came to me and asked the question any nerd parent dreads.....that question of course was "Daddy, can we go see Star Wars Episode 1 in 3D?"..... It was like all the air was taken out of the room and I forgot how to speak for what felt like days.....as I recovered from the question I simply said "sure sweetie" and then left her presence to return to my own world of inner turmoil over this series of events that had just unfolded.
Let me say before anything else, I DO NOT HATE EPISODE 1..... Don't get me wrong, I get all of the hate and I fully understand the many reasons nerds around the world gather in unison to loathe this film.....but still for me it wasn't that big of a deal.
I love STAR WARS.....Always have and always will....and though EPISODE 1 is without question my least favorite of all, I still cant find it in myself to say I hate it....this sentiment alone will make many a nerd furious as its become widely accepted that you cant be a real STAR WARS fan anymore without hating EPISODE 1... I say that's nonsense...hogwash even if you want me to get vulgar.....
I've never fully understood all the hatred because so much of it could be applied to any entry in the series....one of the biggest complaints I always here is that the dialogue is terrible and wooden at times (which i fully agree with) but has there ever been a STAR WARS movie that hasn't had wooden dialogue? For all of his achievements, George Lucas has never been the best at writing things people would actually say....I mean most of the star wars movies dialogue is laughable at the least when compared to other solid franchises......but this is all beyond my point, lets get back to that shall we...
...So after running these thoughts of nerd rage towards EPISODE 1 through my head I realize the whole argument is ridiculous....the point of the matter is I have standing before me an 8yr old girl who is excited to go see a STAR WARS movie. In a world where we now have pink Lego's (because apparently regular color Lego's are just too much for girls to handle) and millions of other stupid barriers that are set up to morph my daughter into a brainless clone of a living Bratz doll, here she is simply asking to share in an experience that I grew up with as well (I was a child who grew up with the Original trilogy and the prequels in my late teens/early twenties) and because of the horrible cynicism that our geek culture uses as its lifeblood I had for a second considered not taking her. But alas, that second passed and I decided there was no way we wouldn't be in attendance.
...After a week of her behaving at school to make sure I didn't cancel our trip we were off to see the movie. Her excitement was infectious, She couldn't wait to see if we got the special 3D glasses and toy our theater had advertised as part of a STAR WARS kids event day and I was excited for her. We got to the theater and had the fun of seeing a line full of parents and kids (some of whom were in full costume) all excited to experience the event together. We watched the movie, she participated in some of the free events after (face painting, Lego building..etc) and all in all we had a great day.
The one thing I think I took most from this was seeing how many parents and kids were out enjoying the movie together. Sure I still think EPISODE 1 is terrible in so many ways ( I literally cringe when I here the racist Asian accents of the trade federation and pretty much every time Jar Jar Binks is on screen) but it doesn't really matter. STAR WARS was never made for adults who nitpick every scene of a movie. In all honesty the prequels probably should have never been made because they re not meant for today's society. All 6 of the films thrive off the viewer either being a wide eyed child or an adult who can relate to that. These movies were made for children who don't notice the terrible parts in the world but simply see the fun and beauty of it.
So for 2+ hours I got to see the world through an 8yr olds eyes again and it was a lot of fun. It didnt matter that we already own this movie at home (on more video formats than Id like to admit). It didnt matter that the movie was in 3D (it added nothing to the film). All that mattered was that we had a fun time at the movies. Thats all STAR WARS has ever been about and that's all it ever needs to be. Also, I dare say one hasnt lived until they see an 8yr old girl ask to have her face painted like Darth Maul, while other kids run around pretending to be warriors from another Galaxy.
Ill see ya when I see ya folks