Geek Out 

Great Expectations

There are a couple of things we can learn from George Lucas' Star Wars prequels. (1) Fucka da Jar Jar Binks. (2) Keeping one's expectations in check is the only way to avoid soul-crushing disappointment.

I was 13 when I read in the now-defunct dweeb magazine Cinescape that a fourth Indiana Jones was in the works—a tease that evolved little for the next 15 years. Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Harrison Ford could never agree on a script, or were always too busy, and while a ton of screenwriters reportedly tried their hands at the project (among them Frank Darabont, Tom Stoppard, and M. Night Shyamalan), it wasn't until Jurassic Park and Spider-Man scribe David Koepp jumped onboard that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull began to take shape, and it wasn't until even later that details—like that it'd be a riff on the sci-fi B movies of the '50s—began to leak.

All of that was blogged, dissected, and geeked out over; and now, Crystal Skull isn't just a summer popcorn flick, but the culmination of nearly two decades of fanboy waiting. So not only do we have midnight screenings, and the lines, but the bad reviews, negative buzz, and nerds whining that Crystal Skull isn't nearly as good as the fan fiction they've written about Short Round.

But no film is worth waiting two decades for, and no matter how much fun most are going to have at Crystal Skull, it's not going to perfectly capture what it was like, as a kid, to first see Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg and Lucas are, no doubt, the guilty parties when Crystal Skull occasionally stumbles, but so, to some extent, are filmgoers who go into it with a verdict already in mind, whether they think the film's going to amaze or blow. Crystal Skull does neither of those things—it's just a long-overdue Indiana Jones blockbuster, with all the usual awesomeness and occasional lousiness. But there is, at least, one thing to get unabashedly excited for: Indiana Jones' personal Jar Jar, that shrieking harpy Willie Scott from Temple of Doom, is nowhere in sight.

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