I’m on a bit of a Star Wars kick, currently. Alright, alright, I’m a Star Wars fan. I see Star Wars as America’s Homeric Epics: an Iliad and Odyssey. I totally saw Episode I at the midnight-before showing.
Now. To explain. I’m not the zealot who stands in line for a month, waiting for tickets, either. There are lines I draw. So, of course, how did I get into the amazing, high demand first showing, without camping?
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I know Magic players. Magic is related to fantasy which is related to sci-fi which means that, probably, I know some of the loonies that are camping. And, maybe, if I were to pull some strings, flash some cash, I could coax a ticket or two out of one of them. I mean, they could buy up to ten. Some of these people probably don’t know nine other people!
Actually, this is pretty close to the truth. I went over to the big cineplex and, lo and behold, I knew practically every face within a hundred yards of the box office.
Oh yes, Omeed is a dork, folks– no doubts there.
But, every person within striking distance of the box office already had nine other friends who were counting on them! Right. Maybe I was just more unpopular than I imagined. I looked at the line, stretching out towards the mall, thinking…
CAN’T THESE PEOPLE DO MATH?
Really. There are two theatres showing the movie, which means four hundred people are seeing it, max. And, each person in the line can buy up to ten tickets.
So. If you aren’t in the first fifty people, why are you there? There is NO CHANCE you’re getting in.
With that in mind, I decided my time would be better spent pursuing other things, rather than standing in the Line of Wishful Thinking.
Bear in mind that Omeed is a smart dork.
I head over to That 70’s Theatre, ten minutes away, shag carpeting and all. There, I walk up to the abandoned looking ticket booth, and buy my tickets to Star Wars: Episode I. 6.50$ each.
There was no line. No SOLD OUT sign. The nice lady in the booth said I was the third person to buy tickets. It was 12:00 pm. You know what I would have been thinking, had the word been invented then?
So, anyway, I sat down and watched an amazing movie (it’s Star Wars; it’s amazing). When they got to the final lightsaber battle, I started thinking.
You know that great, gorgeous moment when Darth Maul pops his huge red lightsaber, the John Williams’ masterful chorus hits a huge, climactic note, Maul does a little flourish and pops the OTHER END of the lightsaber?
I started thinking, you know, I probably would have had a heart attack when he did that.
If I hadn’t seen it in the preview.
Oh, man. If I didn’t know that his lightsaber was double-sided, I’d seriously have passed out. It’s THAT COOL. If you watch Episode I, Lucas even makes it a point to conceal the fact. Give me one good reason Maul wouldn’t have used the whole lightsaber and offed Qui-Gon on Tatooine, in the first place?
For surprise value. So that when that final, gorgeous scene happens, and you see Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan standing there, with Darth Maul, disrobing (!), you think to yourself:
“Wow. Poor Darth Maul. Is he gonna get whipped or what? Two Jedi against one. Darth Vader never fought two Jedi before, and he got beat by little sissy boy Luke.”
And then, he pops the other end and you’re supposed to think:
“Oh my God! Did you see that? All bets are off! Oh my God!”
Then, you lean forward and watch the coolest sword fight ever.
But I knew it was going to happen. I’d seen it a dozen times already. Whoopide-do. By the time it happened in the movie, it was almost kitsch.
Well, that’s how I feel about Magic. Depending on how long you’ve been playing, you may or may not remember a time before there were numbers on the cards, making it easy to know when you had an entire set. You may remember a time before spoiler lists. If you’ve been playing long enough, you may even remember a time before card lists.
Just like the line from The Princess Bride:“INCONCEIVABLE!”
Yes. There really was a time when people didn’t discover what was in a set until they pulled it out of packs. There was a time when you never quite could call someone a liar, when they told you about some card they’d seen. For months, my friends and I speculated as to the existence of Royal Assassin. Surely, we’d rationalize, Wizards of the Coast would not print such a powerful card! The very idea of a creature that tapped to kill other creatures, well, it seemed a little
It wasn’t until they day I held one in my very own hand, that I said
“I can’t believe they’d make a card this strong!”
It’s impractical now, especially for me, to not have accurate card lists the second it is feasible. There is a limitless supply of cards: so it becomes simple to acquire entire sets, through the power of the Dollar. We’ve grown used to having lists and analyzing sets and playing for blood– because of this, we cannot abide by the concept of a mysterious set, which may include more cards than you or I know about.
But if you were around for it in the beginning, I’m sure you remember how cool it was– especially when you met someone with a HUGE collection of cards you’d never seen. I remember, once, feigning as though I would trade my Royal Assassin, just to repeatedly look through this guy’s binder, because he had a complete set of Antiquities (or so he thought!).
As if I was going to trade my ROYAL ASSASSIN.
I never knew if I would see another one.
Eic – www.starcitygames.com
Contributing Editor, Scrye Magazine
“On the door the plaque:‘Work is liberty.’ We were counted. And then, there we were, right out in the country on the sunny road. In the sky a few little white clouds.
Night, Elie Wiesel”
-Should have been the flavor text on Forced March.