Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Fan Who Knew Too Much

While perusing the graphic novel and science fiction section of a local bookstore recently (this is sure to be a sign you are a nerd some time soon), I happened upon a new book, The Sounds of Star Wars.

The fact that it was a large, Star Wars related book was enough to make me snatch it off the table in fear that some other geeks might sneak up and grab all four copies sitting on the table in the otherwise deserted area of the store before I could take a good look at it. Like a scavenging animal returning to its communal nest just before winter, I scurried with the volume in my grasp to the kids section, where I had left my wife and sons, to show them what I had dug up. Upon sitting at the undersized table, I called out to my boys to return to me in the whisper that instinctively adopt when in the presence of a great deal of books.

The thing about this book that I didn't mention is that it has a battery powered box along the side of it that plays hundreds of sounds from the actual Star Wars movie. Each sound has an explanation in the book. It was interesting to say the least.

After flipping through the book for the better part of an hour, we had thoroughly annoyed everyone else in the store with the sound effects. While reading, we found out all sorts of information. The sounds of many ships, for instance, were made by recording planes taking off and landing. We also found out that the war cry of a Tusken Raider came from a donkey and that the vast majority of Chewbacca's dialogue was performed by a bear.

To be honest with you, I had never really thought about how the sounds from the greatest movie trilogy of all time had been made. I knew the movie sounded awesome. I knew the sounds were realistic. That was enough for me.

Thinking of a donkey now when I hear Sandpeople in the distance will make it a lot less ominous. I doubt I'll feel the same hurried anticipation as I advise Luke and Obi-Wan through my television screen to get out of there before they return in greater numbers (that's the second time I've referenced that line this week...awesome).

And the fact that Chewbacca could have a conversation in fluent bear is a bit disappointing. The magical secrets of the Wookie dialect have revealed themselves. As it turns out the treasure chest I suspected was full of gold doubloons contains a bunch of disposable combs and shoelaces. The fact that one of the most bad-ass creatures in the galaxy speaks the same language as the big mound of fur I saw at the zoo this summer that refused to move for my entertainment despite throwing numerous pieces of soft pretzel at it left me feeling empty.

I decided to place the book back on the display table where I had found it. It was expensive and I discovered that, sometimes, you can know too much about something you love. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss. Like when it comes to your girlfriend or wife's old boyfriends, the methods through which the mafia goon collected that money from a debtor for you or hot dog ingredients.

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