Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy National Star Wars Day

Since it's May the Forth (be with you), many SW fans have dubbed today National Star Wars day, I thought I'd share some thoughts about the movies.  However this will not be a recap of the movies, an analysis of their historical significance, or even a list of trivia about the movies.  This will be more of a montage of vignettes, my own personal memories of the movies and their significance to me.


I really don't know how old I was the first time I saw Star Wars: A New Hope.  There are pictures of me as a four-year-old kid dressed as Princess Leia, so I can only assume that it was very early on.  I do, however, remember the first MEMORY I have of watching that movie.  I was about six or seven, and my parents had been divorced for almost three years.  My dad had just bought a house, the house that to this day I still think of when I picture "home".  It helps that he still lives there...

Anyway, we had finished putting all the boxes in the right rooms, and it was late afternoon.  So my dad sets up the TV (the most important thing, after the fridge), and opens a box of VHS Tapes, and pulls out the tape on the top.  It has a girl and a boy in white on the cover, with the boy holding what looks like a glowing sword.  "What's that, daddy?"  "This is one of my favorite movies, baby girl.  Want to watch it with me?" "OKAY!"

And so, the music starts.  I'm reading just fine now, but the words are moving a teeny bit fast, so dad reads.  I'm not sure what "rebellion" or "empire" mean, but I'm hooked.  Pan down from the stars, and the movie begins...  I sit still and don't move from the couch for 2 hours, which I'm sure to any parents reading this is utterly amazing. 


It's 1999 and I'm a junior in High School.  And I can't wait to get out of school.  I'm leaving at lunch to go wait in line, because me and four of my friends are going with my dad to watch the midnight showing of Phantom Menace.  We pile in the van and head for the spectrum.  The place is a zoo.  There are news crews, documentary makers, and people dressed up as Original Trilogy Characters everywhere.  There is even one brave soul with an AMAZING Queen Amidala costume.  I mean, seriously.  I have no idea how she made it before seeing the movie, but she did it, and did it well.

My friends and I had a ball.  We had To-Go Cheesecake Factory food (because it was one of the few places in the mall at the time), talked to fellow Star Wars fans, and basically had the time of our lives staying up and out late at night.

After what was litterally seven hours of waiting, we get into the movie theater.  It's pure pandamonium.  I swear, it's like opening day on the floor of ComicCon.  People have props, stereos, costumes... And I got to be there...

Of course, then I actually had to sit through the movie...


When I was a softmore in High School, they began to re-release the original trilogy on the big screen so that those of us who had never seen the movies as they were intended to be could experience the magic ourselves.  And I had the hugest crush over on Paul Hollowel, a fellow sophmore and choir-geek who was a transfer from Diamon Bar High School. 

And then the magical thing happened: he asked me out on a date!  To see Star Wars! I was so excited.  So I got dolled up and got to go see Star Wars on my first date ever.  Geek, thy name is Claire.


Some years later, I had accepted my plight.  Not only was I a geek, but I was a lonely geek.  You see, I was a Star Wars fan, like all my friends.  However most of my friends were huge fans of Empire and Jedi.  No love for New Hope.

The thing is, that really is the best movie.  No, this is not open for debate, it's my opinion and better men than you have tried to change it, I guarantee.  New Hope was the first in the series, and was something of a lark for everyone in the production.  Nobody really knew how successful it was going to be, and the actors were all relative unknowns.  They had no idea that the project they were working on would inspire millions of people, and millions of dollars in merchandising. 

Anyway, so there I am, being all lonely in my love for New Hope, wearing my Classic Princess Leia costume to ComicCon and Halloween.  Just a lonely Self-Rescuing Princess looking for her Han.  And then it happened.  I met someone incredible.  He liked the Beatles, and Eddie Izzard and he was a HUGE geek.  I mean, epic.  As in, matches my geeky level.  I know, right?  And, amazingly, New Hope was his favorite movie.  But the most amazing part, was that he also liked me. 


So those are my best memories having to do with Star Wars.  What are yours?

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