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Title card poster for 's multiple review on 6 Phantom of the Opera adaptations. The poster is based on the original Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway poster and the central image is from the 1999 Toronto production starring Paul Stanley of KISS fame.
In recent news, the internet's been flooded by an overall mixed reception on the current state of Star Wars, particularly the theatrical released films being pumped out by the Walt Disney Company. It's not pretty to put it bluntly. From alot of social media having fans dissing on one another for their views, directors and cast members being harassed, a group so angry about The Last Jedi that they're trying to set out and do a remake of the movie, it goes to show that not much has changed since the Prequels were released. Just more people and more yelling it appears. So I figured I'd try to add something positive. Mainly, my history with the series.
Before we begin, a few weeks ago I ended up finding myself on TheForce.Net, specifically a forum that has been archived all the way back to around 1997. The pages involved were prior to The Phantom Menace, and it was a treat. The idea that at the time, this was the fourth Star Wars movie getting made and it was going to be set prior to the original three, left me with a smile on my face. My favorite has to be that actor Ian McDiarmid was speculated to be playing Palpatine and Darth Sidious, so much so one fan found promotional photos on toy packaging and compared them to Return of the Jedi screenshots.
This did get me thinking: how on earth did I end up being a fan of Star Wars?
My first introduction of Star Wars I can kinda recall was because of my parents. Well, more because of their jobs. My folks have been doing concrete landscaping for 20 years, and every year they attend home and garden shows to promote the company to get more clients. My older and sister and me got dragged to them alot, though fortunately there would usually be some type of entertainment for us from not beating our skulls against a wall out of boredom. One night (yeah, they tended to go into late evenings), I'm walking around and I meet a guy who's showing a home entertainment center: seats, surround sound, large screen picture quality, the usual stuff. He probrably got I was bored so a movie wouldn't hurt, so he offered to show me two scenes from two different movies (this was so no one would just sit there all day). One was Jurassic Park 3, specifically the Alan Grant raptor dream, which didn't help me warm up to the first one seeing how the opening raptor bit scared the shit out of me. The second one was for Attack of the Clones, which was about to be in theaters (maybe his company had a deal with Fox to promote the movie, I guess).
It must have been the speakers, it must have been the cozy seats vibrating with the music and sound effects, but seeing that in that setting, WAS AMAZING. And I had no clue what was going on. All I knew was these guys were racing away in some futuristic landscape trying to find this mysterious woman. But the best part of the night? My folks bought the speeder toy for me as a reward for sitting at the home show.
The weird thing is...I didn't get to see the full movie until a year or so later.
Yeah, somehow the speeder sequence, which blew my mind, wasn't enough for me to beg my parents to go see the film in theaters. Again, probably due to my folks constantly working and being unable to do stuff outside of work. However, I did get very involved with the toys, which were the early Lego sets.
No, my real introduction came at elementary school. I befriended this kid I'd bumped into once or twice, and we instantly got along. It must have been one day to lunch when I spotted his lunchbox. It was a Star Wars themed lunchbox with Anakin wearing his podracer helmet from The Phantom Menace. I didn't know what it was, and asked him about it. He explained, "Oh, it's from Star Wars". I asked him what was Star Wars, and he looked at me as if I didn't understand, let's say, what breathing was. Then he lectured me all throughout lunch.
Now here's the thing. He didn't lecture me on what an idiot I was for not knowing what the films were. He gave me a speed course on what it was about. ALL of it.
It. Was. Insane. Imagine hearing this and only using your imagination to try and piece some of this bizarre imagery together? Naturally, all questions I had were immediately answered... and were spoiled, now that I think about it. Not just the prequels, but the original films as well. He explained EVERYTHING.
And shortly afterwards, my real introduction came when in 2003, the people of Lucasfilm decided to do an animated show that was aired on Cartoon Network.
With this heaping helping of curiosity, this resulted in me trying up to speed by watching all the films in chronological order. Tricky, seeing how Episode III wasn't released yet (and kinda pointless, seeing how I know how the story ends), though fortunately a home video release of Attack of the Clones had me covered.
Somewhere in between that time, I ended up purchasing a Visual Dictionary on the original films. I recall where I bought it, though not when. I'm guessing about 2003 or 2004. Somewhere in that time frame.
After that, I was heavily into the series. Revenge of the Sith became my first Star Wars film on the big screen (as well as the first one I owned on DVD), I ended up purchasing the entire series when they were released in 2011 on Blu Ray, and since The Force Awakens me and my friend from elementary school have gone to the theater to see every new film release.
If you ended up reading this and got this far, thank you. It was fun recalling childhood memories and seeing how I ended up liking the series up to now. If you'd like, you can share how you were introduced to Star Wars.