Saturday, March 29, 2014

COSMOS: PLEASE DON'T JAR JAR ME.


Originally posted on July 23, 2013

As has been known far and wide and announced from the skeptical mountain tops, the reboot of Cosmos has released its first Trailer.  I, like most folks in skepdom, am highly anticipating the new Cosmos ever since it was announced that Neil DeGrasse Tyson was the new host.  The show is to launch the week after the Steelers* win the Super Bowl on the Fox Network.  It is going to be a long wait.  I am desperately trying not to get my hopes up on the quality of the Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. 
I am sure like many other people the original Cosmos: A personal voyage was something special.  I have memories of watching it on its original airing as a nine year old each week with the entire family gathered around our then fancy 25” screen t.v. with radio remote control.  I was captivated by the episode “Blues for a Red Planet.”  I have probably watched that particular episode 12 to 15 times over the course of the years.  I wanted to be an astronaut.  I wanted to be an astronomer.  I wanted to wear a turtleneck with a sport coat and lecture people.  Cosmos is like an old dear friend. 
My concern is what could possibly meet such expectations.  I have had similar feelings for a return of an old childhood friend from the same era in my life.  I lived, breathed, played, and slept Star Wars.  When it was just Star Wars and not Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope.  I had Empire Strikes Back bed sheets, and action figures galore.  Kenner had more money sunk into it by my family than anyone rightfully should.  I coveted my friend's AT-AT.  I carried the torch for Lucas’s creation up through the re-releases, and finally Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  (I stayed in line overnight to get tickets for the midnight show, and nearly froze.)  That flame died down quickly after viewing Episode I, and looking back I had a pit in my stomach when I read on the opening crawl " . . .  The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute." What? It's a movie about trade.  Then Jar Jar hit the screen and I felt woozy.  A part of my soul died that day, and has never been revived.  I would hate for the new Cosmos to do something similar.  I am trying to check my giddiness.  If the new Cosmos opens with a line about double entry bookkeeping I'll just check out, and live like a hermit. 
*Yes.  I am that much of a fan.

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