I'd be willing to bet that a third of people who join ascetic orders do it because it's easier than moving. That said, while packing, I uncovered the following gem of a decade-old diary entry.
22 February 1999
Cher M. Henshaw,
OMG, I cannot wait. In just a few short weeks, the culmination of all my hopes, dreams, and fears (ha — not!) will come to pass as Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace hits theaters nationwide.
This shit is gonna be so good.
It doesn't look like any early copies have leaked online — believe me, I would torrent that shit so fast — so I've contented myself with watching the trailer over and over and over again on YouTube. It may be only two minutes long, but that two minutes is enough to validate George Lucas's status as an unsupplantable genius. This movie has it all — the classic slightly-beat-up Star Wars look, the crazy yet believable aliens, the lightsaber fights, and a beautiful girl.
Yup: Natalie Portman, who is like a super-talented actress. She was in The Professional when she was like eight, and I'm pretty sure she won an Oscar for it, because everybody talks about it all the time. I'm not quite sure how Lucas got her, because she's more of a "serious" artist — probably wouldn't want to see her host Saturday Night Live — but she'll surely bring a touch of sophistication to the proceedings. That's a fine thing, because she's obviously an eventual love interest, and one of my favorite things about the original trilogy was how potent but not over-the-top the romance between Han and Leia was. That's what we like. No one wants to see lovers running through a field of fucking daisies.
The whole cast, really, is something to behold. I have to admit, I kinda hoped Lucas would do like he did with the first three movies, and hire total unknowns (although I guess now that there's Wikipedia, no one's really unknown!), but I trust his instincts. I mean, three words for you, M. Henshaw:
Samuel. L. Motherfuckin'. Jackson.
That's right, a little of the old "Royale with cheese" magic is coming to the Galactic Republic. (Speaking of which: Quentin Tarantino — there's another director who's gonna keep the hits coming for decades to come. I'm never taking this Pulp Fiction poster off my wall.) Seriously, though, you could put Sam Jackson in a movie and not even show it to reviewers in advance to promote it — just stick in a scene where he swears a lot — and it would be a runaway success. Between him and this Captain Panaka dude who's in the very first teaser they released, looks like people of color are finally gonna get the respect, and the screen time, they deserve in the Star Wars universe.
And on a totally unrelated note, there's a kick-ass new alien companion to meet! Instead of being a furry dog-bear-thing like Chewbacca, he's more like a dragon. Maybe he breathes fire? (Watch out, Republic — if this guy's not careful, he'll destroy you all by himself! Ha ha!) Anyway, looks like he's got some dialogue, which is cool. Chewie's awesome, but it always seemed like a wasted opportunity that we didn't get to hear the nonhuman take on things more often. I bet this new fella will have a lot of good stuff to say.
Hmmm...went to Taco Bell for lunch and got a little cardboard promotional "coin" from the movie. This one shows Ric Olié, starship captain. Interesting. Looking forward to finding out more about him.
Looking forward to finding out more about the movie's villain, too! Darth Maul — he has a double-bladed lightsaber. It's pretty clear they put a lot of time and effort into his character, so I guess we'll be seeing quite a bit of him. And rumor has it we might just get — hells yeah! — a serving of Boba Fett besides. Well, it might not be Boba himself — it'll probably be a whole army of Mandalorian warriors. That's something we've been waiting to see for a long time now, so I know Lucas won't let us down. He's a master of his craft, and he knows the secret to good storytelling is about a lot more than special effects.
Fuckin' A — he wrote the whole screenplay himself. We are in good hands, M. Henshaw.
Anyway, I don't know what the plot's gonna be like, but I hope it's pure rollicking escapism, because in this post-9/11 world, we've all had our fill of politics. I'm sure I'll be thoroughly familiar with it by the time the movie's been out for a day, though — we're gonna go to the midnight showing and then see it four more times in a row! I confess, when they announced the title, I had some reservations, but the more I think about it, the more I convince myself that The Phantom Menace really does sound pretty cool.
Yeah, this is gonna be so good.
P.S. Saw another trailer the other day for something called Fight Club. How lame does that sound?
Commenter Moff's real name is Josh Wimmer, and he can usually be found at scribblescribblescribble.com/blog.