Star Wars fans, beware; you might be the ones moving toward the Dark Side of the Force. On Thursday, May 19, the third installment of the Star Wars movies hit theaters with millions of fans waiting in line for hours, days and even months, but the hysterical frenzy for this film had started months before.
My roommate and a friend of his are both self proclaimed Star Wars fanatics. Now these two men, both 20 years old, are large creatures with beards, whom most would consider “men’s men.” They grew up in blue-collar families, and both of them love to wrestle, shoot guns and live lives like that of their ancestral barbaric cavemen. Both men would never be caught wearing pink or watching soap operas or romantic movies. All of this changed when they sat down to watch The OC in March in hopes of seeing the trailer of their beloved Star Wars: Episode III movie.
“Hey, why are you guys so excited to watch this show,” I jokingly asked.
“Shut up, man,” they yelled back in unison. “We can’t hear what is going on.”
“Are you guys really going to hurt me if I talk during this show?” I fearfully asked.
“Not only will we hurt you, but we will kill you,” my roommate angrily fired back.
Their words still declared that they were themselves, the tough men of Morgantown, W. Va., but I couldn’t help but inwardly laugh at the sight of them watching a teenage soap opera—all in the name of Star Wars. To better understand these tough guys’ addiction, we have to go back a long time ago to a galaxy far, far away. It all started for them around the age of 10 when the original Star Wars movies were re-released into theaters.
“I got lost in the movies,” my roommate said. “The entire concept of the Force and the light sabers were ingenious.”
Both young cavemen soon became enthralled by the books, action figures and even Star Wars costumes. Their loyalty has since led them to wait in movie lines for an exuberant number of hours, pay absurd movie theater prices to see one Star Wars movie 10 times and has finally led to them watching the famous Fox television show. According to Fox’s website, “The OC is an idyllic paradise—a wealthy, harbor-front community where everything and everyone appears to be perfect. But beneath the surface is a world of shifting loyalties and identities, of kids living secret lives hidden from their parents and of parents living secret lives hidden from their children.
Basically, the show revolves around teenage romance, love, sex and high school drama—not the typical show for my masochistic friends. But on that fateful March 10
evening, anticipation and excitement turned into an obsession. Two hairy, scratching and spitting men sat through an entire episode of a romantic drama to watch a two-minute trailer at the conclusion of the show. Of course, during the trailer, they did watch scenes with light sabers slashing against each other, scenes with the beautiful Senator Amidala, scenes that previewed Anakin Skywalker’s journey toward the Dark Side of the Force and many scenes depicting the battle between good and evil. But this was quite the difference between the many scenes of gossiping, kissing, backstabbing and catfights just experienced on The OC.
Now both men are the first of many in line to see the new movie, and I am sure you and I will not be too far behind. Our emotions will be determined by the shift of Anakin Skywalker to the Dark Side and by how well or how disappointing the final movie is, but we should all take caution in who and what is controlling our actions and emotions. Every night at the theaters, an inward battle of good and evil, of self-identity or Star Wars identity will also be raging inside all of us. Star Wars fans, beware; you might be the one moving toward the Dark Side of the Force.[Brian Barnett is an intern with RELEVANT, student president of Campus Crusade for Christ at West Virginia University and an editor for the college newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum. He will watch the new Star Wars movie, but is not obsessed with it—although he is obsessed with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.)