Our son went to the cinema this week to see Star Wars Part 1 in 3D, and I was tempted to go with him. I can remember seeing the original Star Wars movie when it was released in 1977, and I thought it would be fun to see it again. Except that it seems I'm out of touch with the way movies work these days because the one I saw isn't actually Part 1 any more.
My wife sometimes compares me to Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. I'd like to think it's just because I'm a bit of a geek, but I suspect it's more because I ramble on about all kinds of off-topic stuff, and act as a know-all, when she asks me a simple question. Though, compared to the encyclopedic knowledge our son seems to have of movies (and cars), I'm well out of his league in geekiness.
For example, he can rattle off the cast list, directors, and plot of any movie you mention; from the original James Bond films, through any number of horror films, to anything concerned with science fiction and comic heroes. Including most other block-buster films released in the last twenty years. Together with knowing the performance figures, engine size, and cost of any car that is capable of more than 150 mph, I'm amazed at where he keeps all this in-memory data. I struggle to remember what day it is during most of the week (I even had to buy one of those radio-controlled wall clocks that tells you the day and date).
Anyway, as far as I can gather from the somewhat tortuous explanation he offered, Star Wars Part 1 is now Part 4 and there are three prequels. Or, rather, there is a prequel which got prequelled twice more. It's a good thing I don't own the boxed set or I'd be forever sticking new labels over the numbers.
And why have a prequel at all? Why not just carry on making more that follow on from the end of the previous one? It worked for Sherlock Holmes and for Harry Potter. Though I suppose after a number of years your "boy wizard" has to turn into at least an "adolescent wizard" if not an adult one. Maybe it happens when directors think that they've done all they can with the main characters and kill them all off in the supposedly final episode? Perhaps I can find a technology Microsoft have killed off recently, and write some prequels for that: "Windows XP Embedded - Before the Beginning".
In the end, I decided to give the Star Wars movie a miss. I'm afraid that if I go and see Part 1 I'll get hooked and then I'll have to go and see the other five as they are re-released in super high quality, digitally re-mastered, 3D format. Mind you I understand that the original one (which is now the fourth one) has eleven seconds of stunning new content where the squadron of X-Wing fighters turns in formation to attack the Death Star. Hmmm ... maybe I will be persuaded after all. Though, with my propensity to seasickness, I'm a bit worried about how I'll cope with all that intense on-screen action in 3D. I only have to look at a photograph of a boat to feel a bit queasy.
Perhaps the new Muppets movie is a safer choice...