Sitting in the Dark with George Lucas, Nov04 | No Whining Allowed


In case you are suffering withdrawal from the constant presidential ads, do I have a treat for you. No, it’s not Thanksgiving, the holy holidays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, May Day, the full moon, or the equinox.

Polish up your light saber and walk the Wookie—in only seven months, Thursday May 19, 2005, to be exact, we all get to see Star Wars Episode III, The Revenge of the Sith. The last one! Or the third one, or the sixth one, or the one in the middle. However you view it, this is it! During the happy holidays you can be assured that I am not humming Jingle Bells. I am, in fact, humming the theme to Star Wars. “Da DA. Da da da D-A-A-A-H DA.”

For months now, George Lucas has been granting interviews about what he’ll do after this last Star Wars. Will he make episodes VII, VIII, and IX? George says, “NOOOOOOOO.” According to Entertainment Weekly, “Once he lays Star Wars to rest, Lucas wants to return to the point he was at right after THX 1138 and make any stories he likes, without regard to their commercial prospects.” So this is it. Get ready: endless promotion is on its way.

You might be wondering about now, Why is she going on about Star Wars and George Lucas? Thanks for asking. My personal countdown to Star Wars, Episode III all started when I took a small vacation to San Francisco. Right across the street from the hotel where I was staying was a big Borders bookstore. How lucky was that? I actually held myself back until the last day of my stay and then swooped in and, low and behold, they had THX 1138 just released on DVD. For those of you who are not up on Everything George Lucas, THX 1138 was the first major motion picture that George made. It had a limited release in 1971. One of the places it ran was San Francisco, where George and the gang of soon-to-be-famous directors (Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Brian DePalma) were creating.

For those of you kiddies reading this who weren’t born yet, take granny’s word for it, San Francisco was a very interesting place to be during the 1970s. I was just out of high school and newly reacquainted with my long-divorced dad. What I liked most about the city was that my dad lived there and I could visit him every summer. One of the things we liked to do was see movies. I was lucky enough to see THX 1138 on a wide screen, along with the double feature Play Misty For Me, starring Clint Eastwood. THX 1138 was an artistic look at the future and one man trying to escape from it. Play Misty For Me was a horror movie with one man trying to escape from a stalker. The similarities ended there.

If I had been psychic at that time I would have said to myself, “Self, who is George Lucas? And why don’t you go to work for him?” Silly me. Instead I was into collecting Humphrey Bogart posters. I can’t think of why at the moment.

Anyway, back to the present—during my stroll through Borders I bought the THX 1138 DVD because it reminded me of being in San Francisco with my dear old departed dad. This started me on the “Where were you when the next George Lucas movie came out?” memory trail.
Where Were You in ’73?

George next came out with American Graffiti. The movie poster asked, “Where were you in ’62?” I can remember reading it in the lobby of the theater in San Diego. Strange, eh? I don’t know who came up with that one-liner because when my man friend and I came out of that movie we both thought it was more “Where were you in ’52?” You just never know what time warp a small town might be in. Come to think of it, the other day I saw a couple of teens walk by me who were dressed right out of the Haight-Ashbury era. Maybe I’m having strange flashbacks.

Where was I? Oh yeah, 1973, when American Graffiti came out. If I had been psychic at that time I would have dumped the man friend at the intermission. Unfortunately, I moved in with him instead. His name wasn’t George. Maybe that was the problem.

In 1977, George Lucas came out with Star Wars. I saw it in a crowded theater in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was the evening after a weekend meditation course, and when Obi-Wan Kenobi said, “Use the Force, Luke,” I associated it with meditation. If I had been psychic at the time I wouldn’t have married my meditation teacher. Advise: Never mix up the message with the messenger.

We Are Always In The Middle

Of course, there are the rest of the Star Wars movies to remember and Indiana Jones and other Lucas stuff, but right now I’m on fast forward to Episode III. Recently, I saw an interview with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and he and I are the same age. This is strange since in Episode IV, the first one, I was older than Luke was. How he caught up to me I don’t know. As a matter of fact, in the last three Star Wars, which are the first three Star Wars, Luke hasn’t been born yet.

Another thing to think about is that the current generation of kids will see Star War from I to VI instead of from the middle to the end to the beginning as their grandparents did. So the grandparents will be all-knowing and will say stuff like, “Anakin Skywalker better watch out what he does or he will be breathing really strangely by the time he’s an old man. Not only that, but he’ll think he’s someone named Darth and he’ll wear a cape and a helmet all the time, which makes space travel really difficult.”

Where Were You in 2005?

There are many things in my life I haven’t figured out. I haven’t figured out why my car CD player won’t play, what all the DVD does, why my computer crashes, why the Star Wars CD I’m playing skips (is it jumping into hyper space?), or why cell phones die for no reason. But I do know that whatever movies George Lucas decides to make next, I’ll be sitting in the dark watching them. Just as always. George, my fantasy dream man, you can count on me.