Sunday, June 1, 2008

I Still Want to Smack Him, Thirty Years Later

I was six when Star Wars came out -- the perfect age, I think. I don't remember much about my childhood, but I'll always remember watching that movie for the first time: from the opening shot of the enormous Star Destroyer bearing down mercilessly on the valiant but hopelessly outgunned little rebel ship, through leaving the theater jumping-up-and-down excited.

And I stayed that excited. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. (My much more clueful brother wanted to be Han Solo, but I digress.) I am probably personally responsible for the majority of George Lucas's ensuing fortune: my normally not terribly indulgent parents succumbed to my incessant supplications, my endless blandishments, my -- my whatever it took; they bought me the X-Wing toy, the remote-controlled R2-D2, the comic books, the dolls action figures, everything. I replayed the movie in my mind over and over, every day, obsessively.

So just imagine how thrilled I was, three years later, to hear there would be a sequel! I'm not even sure I knew exactly what the concept of a sequel was, I just knew that there was going to be another one of the greatest thing ever. In the intervening years, my parents had divorced, a deeply traumatic experience for me -- and suddenly I didn't care because there was going to be another Star Wars!

The anticipation built for months. We didn't go on opening weekend -- I don't remember why, but maybe because my mom wanted to let the crowds die down -- but at last the big day came. We were going to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

I was practically in a frenzy, standing there in line outside the movie theater with my mom and my brother, in the hot Florida sun. As we waited, the previous showing's audience poured out. I could see in their faces as they walked by that they had loved it, that the movie was going to be awesome.

And as one guy walked past me, he said to his friend, "Wow, I can't believe Darth Vader turned out to be Luke Skywalker's father."


  1. Yeah, it was my Father who told me. At least I didn't believe him... he was just guessing... and Leah... Luke's sister... come on... I don't think so! So I say "yeah Dad" and shrugged it off...

    Yet I some how remember that conversation yet today

  2. Bleeding hearts of the world unite! I love this story and want to re-post for others!