Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
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Aphelion Editorial 027

August 1999

The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

by Dan L. Hollifield

What is wrong with me? Am I the only person on the planet who feels no desire at all to go see the new "Star Wars" movie?

I saw the previews for "A New Hope" while I was still in high school, or shortly thereafter, and was hooked. I bought the paperback the first time I saw it. I bought every magazine I saw that had articles about it. I stood in line opening night to see it. I saw it a dozen times or more during its first run. And I waited breathlessly for the sequels - both of which I saw multiple times in theaters during their own first runs. I bought the soundrack albums, the comic books, the videos - even the special edition ones, the computer games... In short, I was the typical fan.

I've even had friends who had the soundtrack played at their wedding- and I didn't laugh.

So why don't I want to go see the new one? I've seen the ads, the movie looks good. I like the idea of more history from the "Star Wars" universe being added - something that I'd been waiting for and wanting since I first learned that "A New Hope" was to be part 4 of a series. I even wished that George Lucas would go ahead and release the rest of the serial chapters in book form so that I could read the whole story. I like detail, lots of detail - "Dune" is one of my favorite books of all time - and I enjoyed everything about all three of the first "Star Wars" movies.

So where did I get lost from the wonder? Did I change? Was it that theater tickets had tripled in price in the last 25 years? Was it the hype? Was it that I just (gasp!) grew up?


I've been a Sci-fi fan since an early age. The first book that I ever checked out of a school library was Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" back when I was in the 4th grade. My parents bought me "Tom Swift Jr." books, "Dig Allen, Space Explorer" books, H.G. Wells books, and more. I've seen every sci-fi TV series that I can think of, I own over 2500 sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks, I've bought masses of comic books. I haunted the library when I was in college - every day I'd read something new. I drove 90 miles to see the first "Alien" movie. I've never lost my love for sci-fi, for adventure, but still I have no desire to go see "Phantom Menace".

So what has changed? I don't know - maybe I'll never know - but something is different. I'm going to try and force myself to go to a theater this week and see "Phantom Menace", but the desire to do so isn't there. Which is strange, because I really can't wait to go see "Mystery Men" later this month when it comes out. I guess that tells me that its not the theater itself that I'm avoiding, but just this movie. I guess that its a silly thing to babble about, but it still worries me. I feel as if I've lost something over the years, something besides my youth. But I've also gained a lot over the years. Now I can write my own adventures. Is that it? Because I'm now a writer I'm avoiding someone else's work? Nah. I can't accept that. I won't accept that.

I will go see the movie. I won't just wait for it to come out on video. If you see me at the theater, be gentle. It'll be my first time in a long time.

Thanks for your time.



1999 Dan L. Hollifield

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