with the blast shield down, i can’t see anything! how am i supposed to fight?

I think the turgid saga of the Star Wars Line is one of the most entertaining things to hit the Internets since Strongbad answered his first e-mail.

When blogging.la broke the story, I off-handedly posted

The Star Wars line is pissed because they think Star Wars should be at Graumans, not at Arclight, so they are not moving the line in protest.

Uhm. Yeah.

Not moving the line in protest.

Okay. I don’t use this phrase lightly, but. . .

Get a life.

I’m serious. Get. A. Life.

Right now.”

This clearly rubbed some people the wrong way, because I got so much hate mail, you’d think that Jar Jar Binks was my idea (for the record, it was not, but casting Hayden Christensen was. Sorry about that.)

So I sent an e-mail to one of them, which I post here as an open letter to the Star Wars Line:

Dear Star Wars Line,

I’m really sorry that you’re so offended. I was just playing around. I learned a long time ago that I have to be able to laugh at myself. (I’m the guy who had not one, but *two* newsgroups dedicated to hating him, remember?) I think it’s awesome that you guys are raising money for charity, but I hope you can see the humor in a bunch of people waiting in line at the wrong theatre, refusing to move to the theatre a couple of blocks away that *is* showing the movie. And framing it as an act of protest . . . well, that’s really funny. Movies are not the sort of thing that one generally associates with protests. Civil rights? Sure. Anti-war? Sure. Clean up this toxic waste dump? Sure.

But we’re not moving until you put the movie here? We’re not moving in protest? And look at the drama surrounding the whole thing: There are “cliques” of people, and “cool kids” and “factions” waiting in line at the wrong theatre, refusing to move in protest? And the self-righteous indignation? If you can’t see the humor in this, you’re really missing out.

I think it’s great that you guys are so passionate, but I also think you’re taking yourselves far too seriously. But, look, man, at the end of the day, how I feel doesn’t mean shit. If you guys believe you’re doing something important, then by all means, keep at it. Have fun, have a party, raise money, and kick ass. (But you should probably get some Arclight tickets just as a back up — I won’t tell anyone.)

Again, I am truly sorry that you and other lining-up-ers are so offended. I can’t speak for any of my fellow blogging.la contributors, but I really do think your passion is fantastic, and I grok the idea of seeing the last Star Wars movie in the same place the original film debuted (The studio is missing a huge opportunity to bring the whole thing full-circle, but do you really expect anything different from the people who turned The Force into a virus?) . . . but I wish you could see the humor, also. I didn’t intend to put you all down. I’m sure you’re all great people who believe they’re doing the right thing for the children. I was just enjoying the absurdity and humor.

I sincerely hope that you all enjoy your time in line, and I hope that the final movie doesn’t suck as much as Episode One.

May The Force be with you,


Late last night, Sean and I thought it would be funny to make T-shirts that sort of celebrate the absurdity of the whole thing, but mostly to raise money for the children. Please, think of the children.

10 thoughts on “with the blast shield down, i can’t see anything! how am i supposed to fight?”

  1. Thanks man.

    We’re probably a bit oversensitive about things. It’s cool.

    Some people probably do take things a bit too seriously, true, but hey, at the end of it all, we’re a bunch of geeks celebrating being geeks. No harm, no foul. Hopefully we can get the movie at the Chinese… if not, we’ll see it at some other landmark theater in L.A. with good friends.

    – Sameer

  2. These guys have blog-entry written all over them. Why can’t I find losers like that for my own Metroblog ;-)

  3. are the proceeds REALLY going to charity?

    prove it.

    if not, include me out. i have no interest helping keep wil wheaton in ramen noodles and second-hand underpants.

  4. Matt – what proof do you want? First off let’s clairify, while Wil helped come up with the idea, I made the shirts with my Cafe Press account so the money is going from Cafe Press directly to me, at which point I decide where it goes. Wil isn’t getting any checks from Cafe Press. When I announced the shirts I said straight out that I’d be giving some chunk of the procedes to the charity. At that point Sarah notified me explaining that CA law says that I need to either saw exactly what amount and when if I’m going to say some of it is going to Charity. Since I have no idea how much we’re going to make (depends on how many of which items are sold) and I have no idea when we’re going to get it (Cafe Press doesn’t send checks unless a certain amount of cash is owed) I can’t say exactly so I pulled the statement. I said it before and I back that up now, when we get the check I will send some chunk of it to the Charity, other than that I can’t say anything else. What chunk totally depends on how much. If we sell 300 shirts it will be a much larger chunk than if we sell 1.

  5. . . . and I’ll personally match, dollar-for-dollar, whatever money goes to The Children.

    If we end up selling enough shirts to give 12 bucks to The Children, I’ll kick in 12 bucks of my own.

    Because if I don’t think of The Children, who will?

  6. Why America, the land of milk & honey & the Internets, still hasn’t picked up on the concept of advance ticket purchase and seat selection via the net or mobile phone is beyond me. I mean, cinematically-speaking, Thailand is the the third world, but our whole ticket-buying-&-lining-up process is light years ahead of what the yanks have to offer. Maybe they prefer the gladiatorial-style free-for-all when the theater opens the queue?

    That said, these liner-uppers really do crack me up. I hope Triumph the Insult Comic Dog pays these guys a visit.

  7. My name is Chris Reed. I am 40 years old. I was third in line opening day for The Empire Strikes Back in Hollywood. Okay, technically my mom was, but I was right there.

    It wasn’t at the Chinese. It was at the Egyptian. And it was the best movie of the lot.

    Take the omen, folks.

    The movies world premieres have all been in San Francisco, by the way, at the Coronet Theater. It closed three weeks ago. Sad.

  8. Matt wrote:

    “include me out”

    I may be wrong because English is not my native language, but isn’t that “exclude me”? Or “count me out”

    I like that phrase, Matt. ;) I can’t wait to use it in the classroom.

    (Gee, don’t get your knickers in a twist! Just teasing.)

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