In celebration of today being unofficially dubbed Star Wars Day by many fans, due to the clever pun you can create with it’s title, I decided to write a post on here celebrating this momentous occasion by going way back, back to when I was 7 years old and saw Star Wars for the first time!
The house I am writing this in right now currently belongs to my parents. However, before this it belonged to my uncle and even before that my recently deceased Grandpa Tom (RIP). So this house has been in the family for more than 40 years. It’s really crazy when you think about it. I’m sleeping in the same room my Mom slept in when she was my age. That’s kind of creepy. Anyways, where I’m going with all this is back to a day in 1995 when my family was staying at what was once my Uncle’s house while it was up for sale to see if we wanted to buy it. My Uncle is a bit of a closet geek and I remember he had some Star Trek action figures on top of his TV and a copy of Star Wars on VHS. My Sister and my Mother were out grocery shopping and I was really bored. There really wasn’t much to do while I was staying there since I was away from all my toys, so I had to find something to occupy my time, so I was moping around and found a copy of a movie I had never heard of before called Star Wars on my Uncle’s book shelf. I went to my Dad and asked him what it was. He told me it was Star Wars, a very popular science fiction movie about robots and the like. He asked me if I wanted to watch it and I reluctantly agreed. I thought it might be kind of cheesy, but he convinced me to watch it.
Within the first five minutes I was hooked! I loved every second of it! The giant space station, the old, wise wizard, the dashing space rogue, the princess, the farm-boy, a couple of robots and the coolest villain I had ever seen, Darth Vader! It was amazing! I have never had and will never have another movie experience quite like watching Star Wars for the first time. It moved me, impacted me in ways I can’t even expressed and literally changed my life and the way I looked at movies. You could really trace my obsession with film back to that movie. After I watched it once I loved it so much that I just had to watch it again right away. My Mom and Sister came back right as Luke and his Rebel friends were attacking the Death Star. Suddenly Esther (That’s my Sister) wanted to know what was going on, so after I finished it, we watched it again together and she really liked it too! So we started watching it again. That’s right, four times in a row! Well, almost. You see, we only got about up to Mos Eisley when I suddenly developed a bladder infection and my parents to me to the hospital.Yeah, that wasn’t fun and I’ll never forget it, because it’s also tied with my Star Wars story. 🙁
A few weeks later my Dad, knowing how much I had loved the first movie went out and bought me the 1995 “One Last Time” Versions of the Star Wars trilogy on VHS. (Anyone remember those ones? They came with a Leonard Maltin Interview with George Lucas. Good Times.) I remember sitting back and watching The Empire Strikes Back that night and loving it too. It’s weird, but the biggest surprise to me was not Darth Vader being Luke’s Father (though that was quite a shock) It was the fact that Han was still in it. For some reason I figured hid storyline had ended after the first movie and he was going to bugger off and not return for the sequels. I don’t know why. I was really happy to see him come back though and I instantly fell in love with Empire just as much as A New Hope. I enjoyed Jedi as well when we watched it the next day and particularly liked the first part with Jabba and the Sarlaac Pit, but the last act of Jedi has always kind of bored me for some reason, though I did like the speeder bike chase a lot.
When I returned to school for Grade 3 in September I instantly garnered the nickname of “Hyperspace Kid” because everyone soon learned of my obsession with Star Wars. I kind of wish that nickname had stuck. It still sounds kind of cool and yet I ended up with Double D somehow. Oh well. Anyways, the Star Wars obsession continued with me buying everything Star Wars. I can still remember the joy I got every time I purchased a Star Wars action figure. I still have most of them in a box somewhere in my basement. They were like drugs to me. Opening the plastic, reading the description on the back of the box before cutting out the little character description for my Star Wars scrap book (yes, I even made a scrap book. I still have it actually if you want to see what every Star Wars chip bag ever made looks like) and then taking out the figure for the first time, setting them up and putting the little gun in their hand, even if they didn’t have a gun in the movie. Ever notice how EVERY Power of the Force figure came with a gun for some reason? Anyways, my obsession with Star Wars grew and grew until eventually my wildest dreams came true! A newer, better looking version of the Star Wars movies came to theaters! It was the Special Editions and while every older Star Wars fan was complaining about Greedo shooting first, I honestly didn’t give a womp-rat’s ass as I sat back in my big theater chair on opening night with a box of popcorn and enjoyed Star Wars for the first time on the big screen! Later on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi also came out in Special Edition form and I was just as excited to see those as well. Star Wars was making a big comeback and I was more than excited to be part of that experience.
Now it’s been 15 years since my first Star Wars experience and I still love those movies like I was a child. The Star Wars Trilogy isn’t just a set of movies, it’s an experience for everyone who takes part in them. 15 years later and the magic is still there. 15 years later and I can still sit back like a little kid and watch my TV with wide eyes as Darth Vader stomps into the halls of the Leia’s ship for the first time and feel the same excitement as Luke uses the force to take down the Death Star, sending it exploding into a million tiny pieces as Han shouts, “Great shot kid, you’re one in a million!” These are the moments that stick with us as movie-goers for a lifetime! Star Wars is one in a million and whether you like the Prequels or not, whether you think that Han shot first or not, or whether or not you think that George Lucas has lost his mind (visit georgelucashaslosthismind.com for more info!) it really doesn’t matter because the Universe of Star Wars will continue to mesmerize children and children-at-heart for years to come. May the force be with you!