Thursday, May 24, 2007

30 Years and going strong: The Force is Strong With This One

As anyone who has read my blog at all knows, I am a Star Wars fanatic.

That being said you should also know that I couldn't let the 30th anniversary of my favorite movie of ALL TIME go by without having something to say.

Oh my GOD, I can not believe it has been 30 years since I was taken to that galaxy far, far away for the first time.

Do you remember your first Star Wars experience? I most certainly do...

I was six years old. My twin brothers had just recently been born and were very sick. They were in and out of the hospital for all kinds of things. Many times the doctors said one or the other of them weren't going to make it through the night. You can imagine what my parents were going through.

Two babies in the hospital and a six year old who still needed their attention. My dad wanted to do something to spend some quality time with me. He thought I would like the movie Star Wars so he loaded me up in the car and took me to the local theater.

I grew up in a rural Arkansas town. Population when I was about six had to be around 10 thousand. Our theater was a two screen place, red curtains and padded seats. Typical sticky floors. Not that big..probably sat around 100 people or so in each theater. *to this day, I don't feel like I REALLY see a movie unless it's in one of those small little theaters....surround sound, stadium seating be damned*

We got to the theater a little bit late. Bought our popcorn and drinks and then entered the already darkened room. From the moment I stepped around the back wall and saw the movie screen I was hooked. I remember that exact moment. Watching spellbound as I tried to follow my dad to a seat and not look away from the movie screen.

We entered right when Darth Vader walks into Princess Leia's ship. All that white surrounds him. I couldn't take my eyes off of that huge presence in black.....and the sound of his breathing...and then James Earl Jones' voice echoing through that theater.... It gives me goose bumps to this day.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen..... remember I was six. It has been a part of my life ever since. I don't know if that's a good thing to admit or not.... I guess in reality it makes me a TOTAL GEEK! But, so be it.

Now, I didn't have a bunch of the toys or anything like that... I was a girl, Barbies were my thing. But, I did have a few of the characters and I would play with my brothers some when they got older and started to get the ships and play sets. When I got older and was in my 1st marriage, my husband and I collected the figures and the ships. See I told you, GEEK.

I even had one of my students buy me Amidala's ship to put in my classroom when I taught 11th grade. Hee hee, I had a poster in my class that was a :Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned From Star Wars. GEEK!

My cousin is pretty bad too....for Christmas one year I bought him an autographed photo of Darth Vader...

We usually play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit at least once at all family gatherings.

I don't remember going to see The Empire Strikes Back, but I do remember going to see Return of the Jedi. By the time Jedi came out I was in the 9th grade. One of my best friends' parents took three of us girls to go and see it. Now I think that says something about my generation: THREE GIRLS and we went to Little Rock to go and see Return of the Jedi in the Big theater. Oh , and they weren't geeky like me..they were both pretty girly girls.

So.. Happy Anniversary to my favorite movie, and THANK YOU George Lucas! What a master story teller you are!


ian said...

I don't remember seeing Star Wars in a theater when it came out, but I do remember when they showed it on television.

ESB was the first movie I ever was brought to in a big theater by my parents. Man oh man was I hooked. I've been a SW fan ever since. I've got darn near all of the expanded universe books and a lot of the comics. I think George Lucas should issue a public apology for most of Episodes 1 and 2, just like Joel Schumacher should for Batman and Robin. My first novel was a Star Wars fan fiction (did I let you read that, by the way?). And now I have darn near all the Star Wars LEGO sets. :)


sherryandkaty said...

If you're a geek, what does that say about me, seeing as how I'm a huge Trek fan???

Lee said...

Ian: I remember when they used to show the movies on TV too. It was a television EVENT in our house. I don't think Star Wars was the first movie I was ever taken to, but it is the first one I can remember going to see. You sent me your fan fiction novel and I started it, but my computer crashed since then and I don't think I ever got to finish it. I do know that I thought it was very good. I think Episode I, II, and III have some serious issues also...they just didn't create the same feeling and sense of awe that the V, VI, and VII do...oh well. I think it was because of all the computer generated special effects...I personally thing Lucas should have gone old school for the effects.

Sherry: There is no hope for you. See, as far as I know there is not a special "name" for Star Wars fans. We just call ourselves fanatics or geeks or nerds. You, however, are a Trekkie.

ian said...

Email me and I'll send it back to you again, Lee. :)

PS: I never ever was moved enough to ever want to write Star Trek stuff. I had serious issues with the last couple of series anyway.

velvet girl said...

I saw all of them in theaters when they first came out. It was awesome! I was a little older, though, in sixth or seventh grade when they came out. I'm glad to have had that experience. I must say, though, you must have been one brave six year old!

I just had the pleasure of introducing the original trilogy to my 24 yr. old friend, Sasha, and he thought they were awesome (of course). Seeing it on DVD just doesn't do the same things as seeing them in the theater, though.

In your comment to Ian you mentioned that the prequels don't do the same thing as the originals. I thought so, too, but for me it was because the originals were actually funny and, dare I say, actually had some sexual tension that the prequels were lacking. For lack of a better explanation, the new ones are too serious and too sterile (no pun intended). Just my opinion.

Lee said...


I totally agree with you on the dialogue. My hubby and I were just talking about that very thing. The writing in the first three (old) was full of wit. And yes, the sexual tension too. The new trilogy just doesn't have the same timing, banter, flow. Something...