Sunday, May 4, 2014

May The Fourth Be With You.

        I am a geek and a nerd, I make no apologies for either.  I long ago gave up the idea that I would ever sit with the cool kids at lunch and talk about cool kid things.  Chances are as a kid, if I was sitting with anyone at lunch, we would sit there and talk about Star Wars.  After lunch, we would probably go outside and play Star Wars (I always wanted to be Han, I usually ended up being Chewie).  When I got home, I would probably turn on the TV, pop in a tape, and watch Star Wars.  If there was anything in this world that I was as obsessed with as baseball, it would have to be well, you know...
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These cards are from my original childhood collection.  I am pretty sure these original Star Wars cards were mine, but they may have been my brother's.  He tended to hand me down things like this - whether he wanted to or not.  And I never did collect any of the whole series so a while ago, I pared them down to these single nine-pocket pages. 
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The red ones are series 2, somehow, we all missed series 3 so I have none of those orange beauties.  Either that or none of them survived.  The green page is from series 4 and it includes the "corrected" version of the "naughty" C-3PO card.  Some parents have way too much time on their hands to be looking for android dong.
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I was born in 1975, so I was just a tad too young to remember going to see Star Wars when it debuted in 1977.  I have been told I did see it as a toddler, but I'll be damned if my little brain can squeeze out the memory of that.  I do, however, remember going to see The Empire Strikes Back when I was five. 
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I am a huge movie geek in general and if I am feeling frisky with the right kind of audience, I will make the argument that not only is The Empire Strikes Back the best Star Wars movie but it is the best movie of all time.  Around certain geeks, this rant is met with joy and wonder.  Around other film nerds, this line of thinking can make people's heads explode.  I will spare you the details, besides, what are we going to talk about if we ever meet for a beer?
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I know I collected these Empire cards back in the day yet somehow, all the Return of The Jedi cards I had are long gone.   Perhaps they were traded for some Garbage Pail Kids at lunch or maybe they were stolen by one of my more nefarious 3rd grade friends.  As a grown up I have never replenished them and I am not sure why considering my most vivid memories of both movie and trading card involve the third installment.  I remember the guy who owned the convenience store at the end of the block telling all the kids that he would be the first to have "Revenge of the Jed-ee" cards.  Yes, he pronounced it with a long "e" at the end.  Lord, we all hated that dude, square old adult that he was. 
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On this page of vintage odds and ends, you can see the old Wonder Bread cards from 1978.  I think my grandparents gave those to my brother because we were too poor to even afford Wonder Bread, it was store brand all the way in our house.  Those cards are delightfully mangled, I am not sure if it was from being in loaves of bread or from the overzealous love of an 8 year old.

Believe me, old age has not stopped me from buying Star Wars cards.
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I bought these Star Wars Illustrated cards at Target last year and I made a page of them.  There is some pretty nifty artwork going on here.  I especially like the one in the middle since I often use the line "I find your lack of faith disturbing..."

Like most people of a certain age with any sort of taste, I am not a big fan of the prequels.  Oh yes, I waited outside for tickets to Episode 1 for 10 hours (not 10 weeks like some, I am not that big a geek...besides, I had a job then).  But after watching that piece of shit twice, I came to realize that no one could ever trust George Lucas again.  The one thing that came out of that time that was pretty good was one of the few things that Lucas didn't produce, the animated Clone Wars series.
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If only such thought and attention had gone into the first two prequels that went into this show, they wouldn't be thought of as the steaming piles of childhood rape that they are now.  If you have never seen them, I recommend them highly.

Topps has put out a few different Star Wars Heritage sets over the years, these are from 2004:
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Here you see the only Return of The Jedi cards I have.  Jeez, I am gonna have to make a page of those just so I will shut up about it, huh?

Oh, and look, they did some cards for the prequels too.  I have exactly three of them.  This should tell you everything you need to know. 
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The bottom six here are the shiny inserts from this set.  I am always a sucker for shiny. 

Topps also did a Chrome set back in 1999.  I am almost certain I should have the whole set of this somewhere since I bought a bunch of this stuff.  For some reason, I also have this page. 
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That Vader card is from the Topps Star Wars 30 set from 2007.  I bought a bunch of that stuff too and I have no idea what happened to it.  This page is a big mystery to me.

This page is a hodge-podge of different cards from all kinds of sets.  The one with Leia running away from the At-At is amusing to me since she never even saw them outside.  Yes, this kind of minutiae is important.
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There are a few random prequel cards too. I should get more of these only if Natalie Portman is involved.  Maybe Ewen McGregor as well, his rendition of Obi-Wan deserved better scripts than he got.

Speaking of the lovely Ms Portman, there she is again.  The second prequel was worth it if only for that outfit.
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These cards are actually stickers and they come from Germany.  I picked them up from a Listia auction and I have never seen them before or since.  That last card is a homemade card I cut out from the box of the original Star Wars Lego video game.  Man, if they had Star Wars Legos when I was 8 years old, my childhood would have been exponentially better.

This page was made from the Star Wars Galactic Files set from last year.
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This set delved into the expanded universe as well as the six films.  I have never gotten too too deep into the comics, though I did read the Timothy Zahn Thrawn trilogy and the Heir to the Empire series of books.  I was very upset when I found out that the sequels will not take much from these stories.  I have my fingers crossed that these movies will be better than the prequels.  Let's face it, they have no where to go but up. 

As usual with these big all-encompassing anthology posts of mine, I start rambling as the pages tick by and never really get to a point.  I guess there isn't much of one other than I love Star Wars and trading cards, so if you put them together, I will eat that shit up.  Even if the cards are oddly sized like these:
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These six cover the original three films, though the one with Han and Jabba comes from the Special Edition version.  If the prequels are underwhelming than the Special Editions are blasphemy.  Han Shot First.

I didn't scan the backs of these and maybe I should have, because little gems like these are hiding:
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On the right is a price tag from a t-shirt (I believe it was a black on black rendition of Darth Vader with the caption "Sith Happens").  I couldn't bear to throw something that cool away so it somehow made its way into my card collection.  On the left is a coupon for the breakfast cereal C-3PO's.  I found this amazing thing in a coupon drawer while I cleaned out my grandfather's house.  You will notice it is dated 1984.  He died in 2010.  The man was not quite a hoarder but let's just say he never threw anything of value away.  This is obviously a genetic trait in my bloodline


night owl said...

I watched the first 3 Star Wars movies and then my interest died. But I wish I had some of the cards I collected back. The red second series, and the red bordered Empire Strikes Back cards especially. I think I might've owned the entire red ESG set.

Fuji said...

If being a Star Wars fan makes you a nerd... then I'm the king of all nerds! By the way... those are awesome cards. I'm starting to feel the urge to start collecting them again.