From Tatooine to Colorado:
The Last Hope of a Damned Generation
A friend of mine who, out of sheer paranoia and a slight guilt-complex, prefers to remain anonymous, is employed at "Target." If you haven't heard of "Target," it's a "super" store that sells a bunch of happily wrapped shit that nobody actually needs, but everyone just has to buy. At 8 AM (central/standard time, for those of you who are obsessive-compulsive over such matters), he went and bought himself, myself, and some other guy the entire set of 3 - 3 1/2" "Star Wars" figures that were released.
Being an employee of "Target," he gets a ten-percent discount (sure, you only get paid minimum-wage, are asked to work really bad hours and receive no benefits, but that huge 10% employee discount really makes it all worth while. After the discount, the figures are only .20 cents more than they are at regular price across the street at Wal-Mart. What a deal!) and he's able to buy the toys before the store opens for the day. That's how the three of us ended up getting the entire set of action figures (18 in all) put out by the friendly assholes at Kenner/Hasbro/THEY-OWE-ME-A-LANDSPEEDER inc. This ended up costing me $138.00.
$138.00 for a bunch of fucking toys. I really am a moron. I had to pawn off my tape deck, old CD player and about 35 CDs to get that money. But it was worth it. I mean, this is "Star Wars." STAR WARS. The voice of a generation (or two).
Which, sadly enough, goes to show how pathetic the last couple of generations have really been. This is what we have to show for ourselves? Our grandfathers had World War II, our parents had Kennedy and Civil Rights, and we have a fucking science fiction series? "I Have a Dream" has turned into "May the Force be with you . . . always." At least Lucas isn't likely to get assassinated anytime soon. Even though, if "The Phantom Menace" (for those of you with your heads up your ass, that's the new "Star Wars" film) ends up being a hideous disappointment, I somehow think anyone between the ages of 15 and 35 are going to feel a bit like their parents did when Kennedy was shot (it's lucky Marilyn Manson and "Doom" weren't around back then, or I'm sure they would be blamed for driving the fragile assassin over the edge).
One way or another, back in 1977, Lucas created "a new hope" for a damned generation. Since then, it's about the only thing we've had to feel hopeful for. Without much to dream about where we're at right now, a galaxy far, far away seems just about right. The first three films defined our childhood. They took us away, even if momentarily, and we witnessed things so wonderful, so terrifying (the first thing we do, is kill all the Ewoks), and so pleasantly black and white, that our child minds had trouble processing it all. It was a fantasy for the Pepsi Generation, before "Pepsi" had a chance to claim the generation as its own.
Now it's about to become more than a childhood memory; it's back, and it had better be good. It's the top of the news, it's the event of the decade. It's the anti-Colorado high school massacre. It's Star Wars, and it can't fail us. The century is coming to a close, and it seems as though more and more people need something "pure" to cling on to as we enter a new millenium, one which is full of unanswered questions and unsettling fears. We need to watch "Good" overpower "Evil" one final time. We need a purpose, and we need to forget the world of Y2K and suicidal gunmen. We need things painted out for us in black and white, with no shades of gray.
We need the Force now more than ever, and on May 19th, 1999, Lucas had better provide . . .
All contents are ęCopyright 1999 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, the Force isn't with you, after-all, you darksided bastard!
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