Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Revenge of the Sith (3)

But Andrew, remember: you are very, very old. "Revenge of the Sith" is not intended for you. It's basically a kids action movie. If you had seen "Revenge of the Sith" when you were 12, or even 12A, you would have loved it.

You would have rushed home and bought the book, the comic, all the guide books. In fact, you would have gone to see the film already having read the comic. You would have known the script by heart and known when a good bit was coming. You would have narrated the plot to your baby sister until she wanted to throw her teddy bear in your face.

Kids in your class with whom you had previously had nothing in common would have turned out to be your friends when you discovered that they also had creased-up copies of the "Revenge of the Sith" paper-back novelisation in their Addidas hold-alls.

You would have got special dispensation from your form teacher to read the new issue of "Revenge of the Sith Weekly" on Wednesday mornings during class-reading time (*), after showing him that it contained quite a lot of text and big, grown up words in the speech bubbles.

Using cardboard boxes and felt-tip pens, you would make a sequence of progressively weak attempts to conctruct replicas of a Obi-Wan Kenobi's Jedi Starfighter in your bedroom.

You would join the "Revenge of the Sith" fanclub and try to start local chapters among your school friends.

You would become so familiar with the characters through the comics and toys that when you went back to the cinema for the third, fifth, tenth, twelfth viewing, it would almost come as a shock to see these comic-book, four-inch high action figures appearing in "real life"on the screen.

You would have favourite bits of dialogue. You would recite faviourite bits of dialgoue and act them out with your friends.

You would walk past your Junior School, look through the window of your first classroom, and it would cross your mind that when you were sitting there crosslegged drinking milk with a straw some impossibly long time ago, seven years or maybe eight, "Revenge of the Sith" had not been made – maybe not even thought of. Thinking about "a time before 'Revenge of the Sith' "would make you think about other strange notions: time and mortality.

You would start to notice that they were no-longer talking about "Revenge of the Sith" on Blue Peter and in the Daily Mirror; that the toys were harder and harder to find in the shops, and that it was harder and harder to find a cinema where the film was showing.

You would start to wait for the sequels.

You would notice that your friends had become less interested in running a local chapter of the "Revenge of the Sith" fan club, and that it had in any case never been very obvious what such an organisation might actually do.

People would start to snigger at your "Revenge of the Sith" pencil case.

"Revenge of the Sith" would gradually cease to be the film that "everyone" is talking about. People would start to identify you as "that "Revenge of the Sith" nerd."

"Revenge of the Sith" would no longer be the first comic you read on a Wednesday. But the older issues would still retain their magic, and certain specific images would retain their aura. (The colours; the typscripts; the design would be as important – more important – than what you remember of the actual movie.)

You would start to wonder if you would ever see "Revenge of the Sith" again, because, like Disney cartoons, it would never be shown on TV.

One Christmas, you would watch "Revenge of the Sith" on TV.

Eventually, you would not be twelve any more, and "Revenge of the Sith II" would come out, and everybody would be talking about it again, but, even though you would see it a dozen times and even though you would agree that it was even better than the original, you would feel on the outisde, because, somehow, "Revenge of the Sith" is special, special to you, and this sequel which everyone is talking about is, well, only a movie.


Or, on the other hand, maybe not.

(*) Literacy hour? (Typing the words make me want to vomit.)

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