Two of my favorite things in this galaxy: wine and the epic wonder that is “Star Wars.” I’ve watched the teaser that dropped over Thanksgiving weekend more times than I have any trailer, and I’ve giggled like a child with every eighty-eight second view. As I sat down with a glass of Nebbiolo to watch it again for the millionth time — “Have you felt it?” — I found myself swirling my glass with such fervor that when the Millennium Falcon darts through the air so too did the wine. Satisfied once more I sniffed and sipped while my cat OBI (yes, like Obi-Wan) licked up the drops on the floor and a revelation came to me:
“Star Wars” is like winemaking and fine wine. It begins with a winemaker producing a wine with humility and promise (“A New Hope”). The wine then starts to mature and refine itself over a few years, giving little hints of what it will one day become (“I am your father” – “Empire Strikes Back”), gaining in popularity. As time passes, the wine develops a bouquet of awesome culminating into what the winemaker set out to accomplish (“Return of the Jedi”).
Sometimes though, alas, throughout the aging process, the wine goes through a lame phase where the phenolics are busy interacting with other elements in the wine and the excitement is muted (“The Phantom Menace”). This quiet stage of the wine aging process may be a result of a misstep in the winemaking. The winemaker may try to tweak the process (“Attack of the Clones”) and maybe almost get it right (“Revenge of the Sith”), but ultimately realize that they are ready to throw in the towel. But not right away.
Technology advances and after a decade or so of testing the waters of innovation (“Clone Wars: Animated Series”) a new oenologist comes on board (J.J. Abrams) to bring the wine back to what it once was when people initially fell in love with it – maybe by improving vineyard management and building a cleaner facility, while making sure the wine will still stay true to the legacy (“The Force Awakens”). And then the world waits.
We wait for the wine to wrap us up in the comfy nostalgia we had when we first encountered this amazing wine. Maybe some characteristics are a bit different, like more vibrant fruit and less oak exposure (crossguard lightsaber), which could spark some debate. But although concerns are voiced, there is no question that when the new fine wine is ready fans will invest in its future.
There are no bad vintages, just bad winemakers. A difficult vintage can still give amazing wine if the winemaker knows this one thing:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
May the Force be with you.