My life changed drastically the day I first saw Attack of the Clones. It was the first day the film opened, May 16, 2002, and I’d been awake a long time. The day before, May 15, I spent over 12 hours outside of the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City waiting for a midnight screening of the latest Star Wars film. Afterward, I went to sleep, woke up, and graduated from college. “Today is a day we’ve been waiting for a long time,” a speaker said during the graduation ceremony. “Today, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is finally in theaters.” Everyone laughed and the quote burned into my memory.
Graduating college is obviously a life-changing event, but Attack of the Clones had a profound impact on me long before, and after, the film was finally released. The lead-up to its predecessor, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, is how I came to find websites that covered movies. Surfing sites like Countingdown.com, Rebelscum, TheForce.net, and many others, I not only got my daily fix of Star Wars gossip, I unknowingly opened the door into what my life would eventually become, writing for sites like the one you are reading right now.
But that was as an observer. During the lead-up to Episode II, I was a participant. While balancing a part-time job, and full-time school, I began working for a few of those sites, specifically Countingdown.com. Though I’d written reviews for my high school newspaper and was writing about movies for college, this was the first time I was doing it “professionally.” And I got a real taste for it. I’d write posts about Star Wars here and there while also doing some of my first press junkets, and by the time graduation hit and the speaker made a joke about the movie, I knew the next step. By the time Episode III was released, I wanted to be somewhere writing a review. A goal I accomplished three years later at a mid-level newspaper in southern New York.