An Attack on the Clones

“Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” opens tonight at midnight on every single movie screen in the world that is not already showing “Spider-Man.” In fact, due to overbooking, some theaters will show the films simultaneously, on the same screen. When Mary Jane Watson kisses an upside-down Yoda, you will believe that dreams can come true.

I’m just being silly, of course. Silly like the guy who organized the local “Star Wars” party taking place tonight at the SCERA in Orem. His name is Bryan Young, and he was the first nerd to set up a tent outside the SCERA a few weeks ago. (I am using “nerd” in the most professional, clinical sense.) His wife will give birth to their child soon, and if it is a boy, he plans to name him Anakin, thus dooming the child to a lifetime of being beaten up, turning to the Dark Side, constructing a moon-sized battle station and blowing up the planet Alderaan. The die is cast, young Anakin Young!

But you can understand the enthusiasm for the movie, and not just among the nerds, but among normal people such as myself. I was a young child when the original “Star Wars” was released. I remember chattering excitedly as my brothers and I, wearing short pants and suspenders, walked downtown to the old Majestic theater, paid our nickel, ran to the balcony and sat impatiently through the war-related newsreel before the feature began. Oh, what a time we had! The thrilling battles, the funny robots, the light sabers that didn’t look at all fake or silly. It was a welcome respite from the drudgeries of farm life. All too soon, it was over, and we had to hurry home or there would be whippings all around and no bread pudding for dessert!

I was even more excited to see “Attack of the Clones” last week at a press screening. Instead of being full of screaming nerds, I knew it would be full of screaming movie critics, who are just as bad but less numerous. (On that note, let me digress a bit and mention that I was at a “Spider-Man” pre-screening attended by Uber-nerds, many of whom cheered the movie every time something cool happened. I have never understood cheering a film, considering none of the actors or filmmakers is present to hear the ovation. The subtext of the cheering must be, “We applaud the technology of capturing images on film and then using light to project the images onto a white screen! Huzzah for it! Wait, what did he say while I was cheering?”)

Anyway, I was delighted by the many surprises revealed in “Attack of the Clones.” I will spoil them all for you now.

• It’s a musical.
• Turns out Yoda was a puppet THE WHOLE TIME!
• Jar-Jar Binks is now Darth Binks and breathing heavily.
• Most of it takes place in Ohio.
• C-3P0 and R2-D2 rejoice when the Galactic Republic finally votes to allow same-sex android marriages.
• George Lucas’ cute new character: Stromi Thurmondi.
• This month’s Jedi Council speaker bores everyone with his sermon on the evils of pod racing.
• As Anakin, Hayden Christensen delivers a line so well, you almost think Anakin actually believes what he’s saying.
• In a Very Special Episode of “Episode II,” packed with celebrity cameos, Obi-Wan gets married: Say hello to Martha Stewart Kenobi!
• The whole thing is crawling with Ewoks.

I hope you enjoy the movie. Look out for that light saber, Aunt May!

Of all the things I do, pretending to have grown up during the Depression is one of my favorites. In this case, it stemmed from the fact that I didn't see "Star Wars" during its initial run, nor indeed in its entirety until much later. Without any actual nostalgia to write about, I had to go surreal.

The "Jedi Council" joke is a Mormon reference. Sorry, all you non-Mormons.