Confessions of a Star Wars nerd

Join me, Star Wars nerds. Let us bask in our hopelessly arcane knowledge.

Mark Hamill in 'Star Wars.'
(Image credit: Lucasfilm / Ronald Grant Archive / Alamy Stock Photo)

Does the phrase "earth tones" inspire you to fits of childish and utterly inexplicable laughter? What about "Yub-Nub?" Do you consider the replacement of Elaine Baker, the woman who played the spooky holographic Emperor in Empire, with Ian MacDiarmid one of the most egregious changes in the Special Editions? (Do you, in fact, refer regularly to the second Star Wars film as "Empire"?) How often have you complained to your wife or girlfriend, if you have one, about the absurdity of ret-conning "Darth" into a title, like "Sir"? Does the phrase "Zahn-era Expanded Universe canon" mean anything to you? Do you know how many novelistic accounts we have of Han Solo's marriage to Princess Leia, and do you prefer the one where C-3PO serves — naturally — as "Best Droid" or the one where Han kidnaps Leia and flies her to a planet he's just purchased, one inhabited by a clan of Force-wielding witches who want Luke to impregnate their chieftaness in order to produce some kind of super Jedi babies? Do you continually return to Mr. Plinkett's prequel reviews? Could you pick a Sullustan out of a police lineup? How about Bossk?

If you answered yes to any of my questions, it is possible to predict a few things about you. You are between the ages of 25 and 45. You are likely white and almost certainly male. Odds are you didn't see all the original Star Wars films, or maybe even any of them, in theaters. Your introduction came by way of the old CBS/Fox videocassettes or maybe the THX boxed set with the "One Last Time" preview and the Leonard Maltin interviews with George Lucas at the beginning. You had the Kenner "Power of the Force" toys from the mid-'90s rather than the ones from the '70s. You were confused by The Phantom Menace, disappointed by Attack of the Clones, and saw Revenge of the Sith with your friends explicitly to make fun of it. You think that the Special Editions of the film released in 1997 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Star Wars are even worse than the prequels because they sullied something you loved. You complain constantly about the unavailability of the original versions on modern home-video formats and make a point of reminding people who don't care about whether Han shot first that you own them on VHS. You might even own the laserdisc versions as well even though you don't have a laserdisc player.

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