I accept a job that entails crafting a Washington, D.C. travel guide for a Scandinavian tourism company. They assure me they can pay in U.S. dollars but I still fear receiving coupons for shrimp redeemable only in Stockholm. My birthday is spent in the company of good friends, delicious cake, and my roommate’s demon bitch cat who communicates not with its eyes or mouth but with its razor-sharp hell claws.
The Phantom Menace is released in 3-D and I come dangerously close to trying to interview Jake Lloyd about it; at the last minute I decide to wait until Jingle All The Way gets the 3-D treatment so we have a little more to talk about. I sign the contracts for my book deal with my Lego Darth Vader pen (I will fight adulthood until my goddamn dying breath).
An attempt to make enchiladas goes horribly awry and becomes the year’s one food-related incident I refuse to ever speak of in detail again. ScyFy airs a Leprechaun marathon that proves the beloved series peaked with Leprechaun 4: Lep In Space.
I immerse myself in Canada for the first time and discover Montreal can serve up a serious plate of nachos (the cheese, it covered all the chips!). Titanic is released in 3-D; although the temptation to shell out twelve bucks to watch Billy Zane’s big stupid head pop out at me is great, I avoid it just the same.
The travel guide job finally ends. I am not paid in fish or coupons for fish. I rejoice. “Desperate Housewives” goes off the air, reminding me that Marcia Cross exists.
Rodney King dies, suspiciously around the same time tortured chanteuse Fiona Apple reappears on the music scene. Conspiracy freaks have a hard time connecting the dots on this one, probably because they were too busy arguing about Prometheus’s status as an Alien prequel.
A visit is paid to my parents in Florida. We watch the Olympics together, during which my father reveals his lust for the people’s princess Kate Middleton. I am so disgusted by the sight of Mr. Bean during the open ceremonies I eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food in one sitting.
The button breaks on my only pair of shorts but I refuse to purchase a new pair because I am a big stupid man. I watch a bunch of Scott Baio movies and realize this bozo’s probably got more money than me.
The Great Billie Joe Armstrong Meltdown of 2012 occurs, but it seems a bit rehearsed, so no one really buys into it. I buy The Baddest of George Thorogood, not ironically, the same day I buy the second Old Skull record. I am wearing a tuxedo suit at the time.
I turn in my completed book manuscript. Hurricane Sandy makes a media darling out of Chris Christie, much to the chagrin of Cory Booker fans. Disney buys the rights to Star Wars and finally gives us Max Rebo die-hards something to talk about. For Halloween, I am the Alternative Lifestyle Lone Ranger (i.e. a dork in a cowboy shirt with a pink bandana around his neck).
The guitarist from Gluecifer gives me a copy of their second album on blue vinyl, bringing my colored vinyl collection up to one. I visit Connecticut and am reminded it is illegal on FM airwaves in that state to go more than five minutes without playing a Rolling Stones song.
I finish proofreading my book manuscript and decide to interview cartoon voice legend Joe Alaskey for shits and giggles. A Christmas miracle occurs when my family decides to get barbecue for Jesus Day dinner. I spend New Year’s Eve in airports, fending off screechy children and looking for a bottle of soda under three dollars. I end the year with a $2.49 Mello Yello.
This is no dream! This is REAL LIFE!
Vadergate: Let’s Pretend To Be Outraged By The One Shot In Phantom Menace Where Yoda’s Still Not CGI
Episodes I-III from the controversial and forthcoming Star Wars Blu-Ray set leaked over Labor Day weekend, which proved not to be such a big deal because A) the prequel films aren’t as universally revered as the original Ewan McGregor-free trilogy and B) reviewers/savvy consumers began receiving physical copies of the set this week anyway. Long story short: Unexpected alterations have been made to the prequels as well, including various color shifts and bits of rerecorded dialogue. The most drastic update was actually revealed last month—Lucasfilm has finally replaced the dubious Yoda puppet they initially insisted on using in The Phantom Menace with a CGI Yoda akin to what was seen in Episodes II & III.
Strangely, I think I support this specific tinker. Lightening did not strike twice for Frank Oz and the Yoda puppet in 1999, and I know several people who were confused by the diminutive Jedi Master’s shabby appearance in that first prequel. “Does Yoda age in reverse?” they all asked me after witnessing Jake Lloyd interact with what looked like a green decaying Bette Davis. I had no answers, so I simply shrugged and turned back to the “F-Troop” marathon I busied myself with the week Phantom Menace came out.
Reports are mixed concerning how well the newly minted digital Yoda emotes, but he definitely looks like Yoda now and not some hairy turd that sprung to life from the briny depths of Chaka Khan’s toilet. Yessir, that’s definitely Yoda the Jedi Master in Episode I now…well, except for the one wide shot where he’s still obviously a child in an ill-fitting Halloween costume:
That’s it. I’m flushing my last box of C-3POs cereal down the toilet in protest. WE WERE PROMISED DIGITAL YODA 24/7.
Of course, there might be bigger controversy over the fact the exceedingly detailed HD picture Blu-Ray presents now allows audiences to see with startling clarity the absolute shit makeup job Phantom Menace’s effects crew did on Darth Maul’s horns. The one legitimately cool part of that movie now tainted by what appears to be small lumps of congealed black glue. I guess fans should just be glad they didn’t CGI a pair of Oakleys on him.
Being the strident Star Wars prequel rebuffer/existence denier that I am, I’m not too invested in whatever other monkeying has gone on in Episodes I, II, & III and don’t plan to report any further details unless something utterly cataclysmic turns up (read: accidental Sam Jackson boner shot, Jango Fett breakdance sequence).