Preamble (Don't Call it a Prologue)

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The year is 2005.

George W. Bush is just starting his second term in the White House.

The hottest game in cell phone technology is the Motorola Razr V3 and the PalmOne Treo 650.

The iPhone is still a few years away.

The Rise of Skywalker isn't even a twinkle in Disney's eye—an eye that's currently preoccupied with an overly optimistic Narnia Franchise Wet Dream.

In fact, Disney wouldn't even buy Star Wars for another seven years.

It's the summer of 2005 and millions of marketing dollars can still pull the wool over the eyes of a naive movie-going public, dictating box office success regardless of audience opinion or even general quality of filmmaking.

All hail the grand illusion of capitalism.

It's a warm evening in the summer of 2005 and video rental stores are still a thing.

One particular independently-run store—freestanding, double glass doors on the left side of the brick facade, small parking lot—was just turning on its sign as dusk settled.

Videorama was open for business.

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