As life geared up towards the next round of government mandated exams I found great ways of avoiding the work. Game Cube was a great way, with Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron being my go-to Star Wars game of choice, soon followed by Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast and the Attack of the Clones tie-in Star Wars Bounty Hunter.
We were also given our first insights into the infamous Clone Wars. The first part of the Cartoon Network Micro Series aired, fun five minute episodes showing glimpses of battles the Jedi were obviously winning until the big reveal… General Grievous.
The Star Wars: Republic line of comics gave us new characters and conflicts to enjoy. This was when I finally got into the Star Wars comics so it was all new to me.
And the novels. I lost interest in the New Jedi Order series to a degree, after Star by Star nothing really held my interest too much and I gravitated to the Clone Wars novels, starting with the Mace Windu novel Shatterpoint. We were finally given some insight and back story to the Head of the Jedi Council and as the series grew and continued right up until the eventual release of Revenge of the Sith we learned more and more about the biggest mystery in the Star Wars Universe since Obi-Wan name dropped the Clone Wars in A New Hope.
But as life got in the way my fandom began to wane somewhat. The comics weren’t holding my attention much, I wanted more Anakin and Obi-Wan and yes, there were some storylines featuring them but the majority I got were about Quinlan Vos’s melodrama. As cool as the character was I got bored of that storyline.
As the books continued I enjoyed the ones I was able to get but my attention was being diverted by raging hormones and late-teen angst and nights of underage drinking.
I became friends with a group of slightly older people, some of whom shared my liking of Star Wars but the vitriol towards Phantom Menace was toxic, and in an effort to fit in I bought into it and that was it for my watching of Phantom Menace for many years. I know I tried to watch it a few years later in my early twenties but it wasn’t favoured.
As I left school and headed off to university, Star Wars made an unexpected return, the first DVD release. I bought it as soon as I could, forgoing a couple of nights out in Freshers Week just to afford this glorious purchase. Totally worth it. My waning passion was rekindled, especially by the ten-minute behind the scenes of the as of yet untitled Episode III.
Due to a couple of reasons, I was coming home every weekend from Uni, and on the hour and a half commute from Uni to home I would read, not Uni books but fiction. The DaVinci Code lasted a couple of weeks but then I found out that there were quite a few Clone Wars books I had missed out on.
I bought a couple, the first of the Medstar duology and the Yoda-centric Dark Rendezvous. Not great, in my opinion. Which was disappointing. But that Christmas I got my favourite of the Clone Wars novels, Jedi Trial. And I read that book quickly.
As we approached Christmas we started to get bits and pieces of info. We got the first picture of Anakin onboard the Tantive IV corridor set. A friend called me as soon as he saw it and started asking me questions, the biggest was ‘Where did he get that nasty looking scar?’ And due to my comics reading I was able to tell him, Assaj Ventress caught him with her lightsaber.
My girlfriend at the time called me on a very special Friday morning on her way to work, telling me to wake up and watch morning TV because she’s just seen that the teaser trailer was going to premiere.
When I met her after she finished work she asked me about it, as I recounted the two minutes is great detail I noticed a slightly glazed over expression… so I stopped and just said something like, ‘ Yeah, it was great. I can’t wait.’