Tomorrow, Revenge of the Sith opens worldwide (except in Japan, sorry Newmark) in theatres. As some of you know, it will be the last Star Wars movie to ever hit the silver screen. For many fans, this will be a bittersweet month as the movie series draws to a close.

I’ve always wondered about the stark contrast between Star Wars fans and those who don’t have an affinity for the movies. The people who aren’t fans, at least to me, have always expressed a failure to understand why some people love the Star Wars universe so much. There seems to be this wide gap between the two groups.

I can only speak for myself, but I’d like to shed some light on why I have a special place for the Star Wars universe in my heart.

I first saw A New Hope, in either 1978 or 1979, when the first movie was re-released to the theatres. I wasn’t even in kindergarten at the time and the whole movie-going experience was completely new to me. My dad brought me to the theatre. There, I saw my first movie screen, how the seats were arranged, the concession stands, the bathrooms, the nervous wait for the movie to start, the trailers, and unfortunately, the guy with the big 70s hair in front of me.

The first movie basically showed me the ropes about the whole process of going to the movies. The film itself left a huge impression on my young mind. There were heroes and a big bad villain. There were spaceships and huge space battles with lasers. There were droids and strange-looking creatures. In the late 70s, entertainment options for children sucked. Back then, we had no video games, no Internet, no specialty channels for kids, nothing. Star Wars was unlike anything I had seen before.

Somehow, little Erwin found out that there would be a sequel to A New Hope. Even before I was ten years old, I was going to learn the painful lesson of waiting for a movie sequel. Though I had to wait only about two years, it was an excruciating long time for a child since that amounted to a third of my entire life up until that point.

When Empire came out, I quickly learned to read the movie listings in the paper, which back then, was basically the only place you could get movie times. Again, my dad took me to see it. When Vader told Luke he was his father, that was probably the most shocking thing I had heard as a six-year old.

The three-year wait for Jedi was much easier to endure for some reason, probably because I was gettin’ it done in elementary school by that time. At the time, I think enjoyed Jedi less because it got a bit dark at the end and I think I was still in the space battles part of my childhood. That or maybe I thought the Ewoks sucked.

The thing about Star Wars that I love the most is that there is so much to enjoy on so many different levels. Yeah sure, as a kid, I loved the space battles mostly, but as I grew older, I began finding a lot of depth to the movies. There were a lot of themes that Star Wars presented that I had never seen before. As a kid, where else did I see murder, betrayal, jealousy, hope, and redemption rolled into one story?

I was nine years old when I thought that in Jedi, Luke would be forced to kill his own father to save his friends and the galaxy. Space battles aside, what other movie presented such issues? When Luke lit the funeral pyre to cremate his father, I thought, wow, that’s gotta be tough.

To this day, I still believe the archetypical mentor is Yoda. The dimunitive Jedi Master was essentially a rubber puppet in real-life, but his image in popular culture will remain as a wise and sometimes playful teacher of all things Jedi. Think of all the times you’ve taught or been taught by someone. I bet at least once, a Yoda reference was brought up.

Then there are the Jedi, who I have always liked. Sure they were super cool mystical warriors with lightsabers, but they were more than that. They shunned feeling anger, fear, or aggression in life, but instead preached understanding, knowledge, and peace. They weren’t wussies either, ’cause they kick your ass in a bar fight if they had to. If you’re thinking the ways of the Jedi have almost religious undertones, you’d be right. In the last British census, enough respondents listed “Jedi” as their faith that the government was forced to recognize it as an “official” religion.

Of course, all of this didn’t come to me when I was a kid. Much of my appreciation occurred when I was older. I didn’t fully appreciate that Yoda stuff until I was in my late teens or early twenties, when I was thinking, man, I wish I had a mentor at work. The point is, for a series of movies to give you stuff to think about even decades after their release, that in itself makes them worthy of watching.

While I admit the prequels won’t have the same effect on me as did the original trilogy, I am looking forward to seeing how the last movie ends. I’ve waited twenty years to see this legendary battle between Obi-wan and Anakin among the lava, let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.


As of 1am PST, if 2000 out of the 3500 or so people who voted for the Green Party had changed their vote to NDP in the Vancouver-Point Grey riding, Gordon Campbell would have lost his place as premier. Two thousand votes is still a lot of votes, but think of it this way, in Campbell’s riding, more people voted against him than for him. The same cannot be said of Carole James who garnered more votes than the entire slate running against her.

I’m not an expert in politics, but these are the interesting trends that my solar-powered calculator shows me.


It’s finally here. This week, Revenge of the Sith opens worldwide (except in Japan) in theatres. In honour of the occasion, I’ve decided to pull out a classic comedy clip. For those of you who watch Late Night with Conan O’Brien, you’ll probably be familiar with this selection. Robert Smigel writes and performs the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog skits in which he uses a hand puppet to mock celebrities and regular folks alike.

In May of 2002, Triumph visited the Star Wars fans lined up outside the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan. It was heady times back then as the world waited for The Attack of the Clones to premiere. What followed is widely regarded as one of the funniest mockeries of Star Wars fans, akin to Shatner’s skit for Star Trek followers.

Here are just a few lines from Triumph:

“It’s a big commitment standing in line waiting for the show, how do you explain this to your imaginary girlfriend?”

To a rare girl in the line up:

“You can choose from all kinds of guys who have no idea how to please you…”

To a pregnant woman in line after hearing her due date is in six weeks:

“That’s the last time he’ll ever see female genitalia…”

Go download the whole skit, it’s funny stuff.

triumph-clone2.wmv – 18 Mb


I have just concluded that Revenge of the Sith will not be playing at the new Paramount Vancouver theatres. Both the web site and the recorded phone showtimes indicate that Vancouver’s newest theatre complex will be devoid of Star Wars fans come May 19 and beyond. Why they chose to not screen the movie at such a high visibility location is beyond me.

For those of you who may have had some informal talks with me about going, our plans have been altered. We’ll need to figure something else out now. Stay tuned.


And the others

“That’s it–turn the wheel left and the car goes left.”

9. “He’s getting the steering wheel sticky with taffy.”

8. “How can an adult get his necktie tangled around the gear shift?”

7. “I regret not making that 15-minute call to Geico.”

6. “Floor it, you dumb hillbilly!”

5. “At this point, would it be more dangerous to jump out or stay in?”

4. “This baby gets so much as a scratch, I’m launchin’ the nukes.”

3. “I’d be better off letting Billy Joel drive this thing.”

2. “Not often you hear a grown man saying, ‘Vroom! Vroom!’


As of Monday, there are now two Starbucks locations within a five minute walking radius to my apartment. Now this wouldn’t be a surprising fact if say I lived in downtown Vancouver or near a shopping district, but I live on a university campus.

These two Starbucks locations are fully-fledged coffee outlets. I’m not talking about coffee being sold off a cart or from a small kiosk. These are the real deals. The latest location is inside the Fred Kaiser building, the shiny new home of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The building isn’t even ready for occupation but they got the Starbucks up and running as a priority. This one closes at 4pm and isn’t open on weekends.

If I want to get Starbucks on the weekend or in the evening, I have to go to the one just east of the Forestry building. That one is open until 11pm every day.

It’s a good thing I don’t drink coffee, but I’ve been known to have a mocha frap once in a while. Lately, I’ve even had a few of those without any significant side effects.


Three years ago, when I couldn’t get people to visit my site even if I paid them, I tried something which I thought was going to be entertaining.

I was sifting through all this stuff from my childhood like old books and toys. I noticed I had a lot of Choose Your Own Adventure and Find Your Fate books. I’m sure lots of you are familiar with these type of books. The story is usually about some fantastical adventure that the main character goes on. When the main character needs to make a decision, the book offers the reader several choices. You choose what option to take by flipping to the proper page. I liked the non-linear aspect of the books and back then, I’d read just about anything.

Back in the summer of 2002, I thought it would be such a waste to throw these books out. I wondered if there would be anyway to recycle them. I came up with the idea of putting the books into a blog. I’d type out sections of the book from the beginning and then stop when we got to a decision point. I’d then list the options and the readers could leave a comment to vote on which choice they liked the most. I’d continue on with the winning choice and so forth.

Of course, it never occurred to me that at the time, only five people in the world knew I had a site and three of them didn’t have access to the Internet. My initial Find Your Fate blog died a horrible, painful death. I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did.

For archival purposes, I’m going to haul out my old Find Your Fate blog again just so that you can see the type of stuff I was working on way back when you didn’t even know who I was. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog and then work your way up to the top.