George: 1, Me: 0

I’ll admit it: I’m a nerd. When I first saw the trailer for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on the big screen at the Gardiners Road theatre, I got, well, pretty excited. There may have been some drooling and flailing.

My non-nerdy housemate gave me her best look of disgust and told me to simmer down, but I couldn’t help myself. Finally! The chapter of evil we’ve all been waiting for!

When I say “we’ve all been waiting,” I don’t think I’m exaggerating that much. Like it or hate it or could care less, most of the Western world knows what Star Wars is.

There’s some guy, right, who’s somebody’s father? And the little green Yoda guy who talks backwards? Fear leads to something, I think. And there’s some Force, yeah.

So with all this Star Wars knowledge floating around, and all the excitement from the die-hards after merely seeing the trailer, is it really necessary for Lucas to pimp out his masterpiece six ways from Sunday? He’s the one who deserves the language the Conservatives have reserved for Belinda Stronach.

In the last few weeks, Star Wars characters could be seen everywhere in ads for candy, toys, drinks, burgers, cell phones, cereal and even racing cars. One moment, Yoda’s using the Force to steal a Pepsi; the next, Darth Vader is strangling the red M&M. Let’s not forget Master Lucas himself putting in an appearance on The O.C.

It’s enough to make a nerd cry. Is this really necessary? Do we have to see something that reminds us of Star Wars everywhere we turn?

Surely Lucas doesn’t need to squeeze any more coin out of his cash cow, and his movie doesn’t need any more publicity. His creation has become a cultural icon. So why this relentless bombardment of Star Wars propaganda? I loved watching Yoda bust a move fighting Count Dooku in the abominable Episode II, but he doesn’t make me want to drink Pepsi.

The preponderance of commercial exploitation was almost enough to make me boycott the movie. Almost. Come on, Obi-Wan and Anakin’s duel! I had to see it. And maybe that’s why Lucas released his universe to the advertising frenzy: he knew the fans would come in droves anyway.

That knowledge doesn’t make me any happier. I got played! I hate it when that happens.

And in a way, George is still pulling my puppet strings, since I’m only contributing to the media frenzy by writing this. In the last few weeks, Canadian newspaper pages have been dominated by two things: the kerfuffle in the House of Commons and Star Wars, Star Wars and the kerfuffle.

I’ve felt embarrassed many times this week. I was periodically embarrassed to be Canadian, thanks to our “dipstick” politicians, and I’m slightly embarrassed that I still went to see That Movie after the rampant commercialism.

But it was a pretty good flick. I guess you’ve won this round, George. You still owe me for the flaming piles of dog turd known as episodes I and II, and for that stupid Pepsi ad, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to collect.

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