Thursday, May 25, 2017

Star Wars Looks at 40

As soon as you hear it, you know what you’re watching, and you know it’s going to be epic. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it, it just fills you with excitement and anticipation. Yes, Star Wars is forty years old today. I know there are some people who would disagree, but in my opinion, it changed cinema forever.

 I’m pretty sure that we did not see Star Wars in the theaters when it first came out. I was only 3 and a half when it debuted, so I wouldn’t remember if we did. However, my parents had a newborn to take care of. I’m guessing a trip to the drive-in was not in the cards. I can tell you that we did see both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi at the drive-in. I remember those very clearly.

As for Star Wars itself, at some point when I was very young, I saw it on television. There must have been a point that we had cable and it was playing on there. I was in kindergarten so it must have been in the fall of 1979 or spring of 1980. My mom realized it was on and turned in on for me. We sat down to the scene of Luke in his speeder looking for his missing R2 unit. Right from that point, I was hooked.

I love sci-fi and Star Wars opened that door for me. Every time the movie was on television, I had to watch it. I’m sure if you ask my mother, she’ll sigh, roll her eyes, and tell you that I had to watch it all the time.

Just before the first prequel movie came out, the cinema at the Lockport Mall played all three original movies together in a special package. I had to go. Twice. In all fairness, I went the second time because the first time I went some girl was explaining the movie in real time to her grandfather. She was loud. And annoying. So, I went back to see it without the non-director’s commentary.

My daughter, Corliss, follows in the same vein. She loves Star Wars. I promised her I would take her to the premier of The Force Awakens. I wasn’t able to, but we did see Rogue One on opening weekend. We’ve watched all the movies, even those prequels. In her opinion, Empire and Return of the Jedi are the best. She didn’t like the prequels as much, and she liked Rogue One. Obviously, Empire is the best, so she’s pretty smart when it comes to the movies.

We do own the movies here at the house, and I bet that I’ve watched them at least once a year since I got my first VHS tape back in the 1990s. Sometimes, I think my poor wife thinks I’m crazy and that I’ve passed that onto our children. It’s a good thing to pass on.

Today, on the anniversary of Star Wars, we’re watching the original movie in full surround sound glory. Luckily, Wendy is at volleyball. That means we won’t be bugging her too much. Happy birthday, Star Wars. May the Force be with you.

Craig Bacon wrote this while listening to the opening theme of Star Wars.