On the heels of the new teaser trailer coming out, I just had to write about Star Wars.
First of all — that trailer, though. If I wasn’t at work, sitting at a table surrounded by co-workers, I would have freaked out. It took a whole lot of focus to contain my excitement. No controlling the goosebumps, though.
I’m not sure what I liked better — the crashed Star Destroyer in the background of the first shot or Han and Chewie in the last shot. (BTW, has someone determined a Wookiee lifespan? Is that Chewie or like, Chewie Jr.?)
(Update: Found out a Wookiee lifespan is 400 years. All good, then.)
Eventually, someone in the office asked me today, “Are you a Star Wars fan?” She barely finished asking before I answered, “Yes.” My Star Wars appreciation has really grown over the years, for sure.
But what about the first time?
I know exactly when I saw Star Wars for the first time. Okay, not exactly. Couldn’t tell you the year (1996?) or the season (winter? It was dark…) but I know this — it was AN EVENT.
An Event in my household most often meant a viewing event – a movie or TV show or special we all wanted to watch. Surprisingly, these events were few and far between. Scheduled events, anyway. Usually, if one of us made a big deal about a show, the rest would eventually gather around and watch along. Or sometimes, if I walked in while my dad was watching something he felt was incredibly important and I stopped in the living room just long enough to watch, he would say, “This is a good movie,” which was dad-speak for, “sit your ass down and watch this.”
But the Star Wars event was fully scheduled over the course of 3 weekends. Pretty certain this happened because we had just gone to Florida and rode Star Tours, got our picture taken in front of the giant AT-AT, and admitted to Dad we had never seen the movies. In fact, the most James and I knew of franchise was probably learned from clips in the Muppet Babies.
We could *identify* Star Wars, but we’d never seen it. Obviously, this needed to change.
The first Saturday was good. I loved 3PO and Leia. I recognized elements from the ride. I was definitely looking forward to next week.
The second Saturday was when young Sarah’s mind was blown away. I loved every second of it. The Han and Leia romance made my little heart race. Han actually going into the carbonite and not being saved at the last minute? Unexpected. Yoda was great, and I was so proud I could identify Frank Oz. But when Luke was revealed to be Darth Vader’s son? I damn near lost it. How? How could this be?
It was probably the last truly innocent and genuine cinematic shock I will ever experience. I couldn’t get over it. While in my state of disbelief, I inquired to my father incredulously , “Darth Vader is Luke’s father? Really? Really?! What next, Leia’s his sister?”
Dad, always eager to spoil, even back then, looked at me with raised eyebrows and side smirk – the sign I was dead on.
“No way. No!!”
He made some “hmmm” noises, refusing to verbalize that I was exactly right. But he didn’t have to. I knew it.
So the third Saturday, I watched my prediction come true. Also, I was a huge fan of Return of the Jedi. The Ewoks get a lot of heat, but they really were adorable, so if it was a kid-ploy, it worked and helped stoke my fandom. I even loved the little song and dance scene at the end. So there.
As a side note, my mom, who sat with us all three Saturdays, hates Star Wars and sci-fi in general. She doesn’t do well with aliens, so she has particular disdain for Jabba and Admiral Ackbar. Yet, she does love E.T.
Anyway, I watched all three movies pretty regularly after that. When the prequels came out, I was beyond excited, but that’s a story for another day.
I forever love Star Wars, thanks in no small part to how I was introduced to it.
If you remember when you first saw the original trilogy, share with me!