I was five years old.
I couldn’t tell you what theatre we were at or where exactly we were seated. It was Duluth, Minnesota in 1977. The trumpets blared, the crawl came across the screen, and a moment later a ship being fired upon and firing back came flying in. I was hooked.
Star Wars would cement my love of sci-fi. Oh, there have been other books, TV, and movies that I love and still love — but my first love is Star Wars.
I could not tell you how many times I saw the movies of the original trilogy in the theatre. Then, when we had VHS, I can’t tell you how many times I watched those movies again. For the record — the ONLY videotapes I still own are the boxed set original trilogy (letterboxed).
Then we got the prequels.
At the time, I was just happy to return to my beloved Star Wars universe. The music, the aliens, the scenery. To be sure, they are not good films. The plot holes are particularly large, the acting impeded by Lucas’ inability to write believable dialogue — and a total lack of chemistry between the actors playing lovers.
There are moments of merit in the prequels. But they mostly are skippable.
I love the final trilogy. Rey and her companions truly inherit the universe Luke and his companions started.
Say what you will good and bad — I LOVE STAR WARS!
As a kid, I had a lot of the action figures and vehicles. In my backyard — mostly alone — I created new adventures for the characters between and after the various films.
Star Wars would inspire me further. I started to write. At age 9 I created my first sci-fi book. Over the years I would also get into fantasy — which, to be fair, a good part of the Star Wars mythos is based in.
Jedi Knights are knights with laser swords, after all!
My love of fantasy and sci-fi had an incredible outlet in the Star Wars universe. It has grown from there — and now, as an adult, I still enjoy all things Star Wars.
Currently, I am finally watching the Clone Wars cartoons. I intend to follow that up with Rebels. I loved The Mandalorian and look forward to the upcoming TV offerings.
I’m well aware of the shortcomings of all things Star Wars. There are plot holes, inexplicable happenings, and things that have been done over the years that have both pleased and enraged the fans. Sure, I think given a chance I could have done the prequels better — but so do LOTS of people.
It is the universe and the depth of its creation that has been as inspiring to me as it has. Even with its imperfections, I love it all.
Don’t stop imagining
Today, as we are in the middle of a pandemic and a world of insanity and uncertainty, Star Wars is a vision and a beacon of hope. The message of the entire series has always been about people rising up against adversity to be heroes and inspire hope.
Except for a few characters, like General Grievous and Emperor Palpatine, even the most far-gone villains — Darth Vader and Kylo Ren — are not beyond redemption.
We need hope. Hope is how you know that on the other side of this there will be something to have fought for. Social distancing and quarantine are meant to make this virus manageable so as not to overwhelm the medical profession. The cure or a vaccine is a long way off.
But there is hope. And that hope can carry us through and beyond this all.
Star Wars is a brilliant work of imagination. Yes, I know it is derivative of many different sources that came before it. But that doesn’t lessen all the ways in which it is awesome.
My imagination was expanded exponentially by Star Wars. My heart still stirs with the music (and with the original trilogy, I can tell you what scene you are in by the music without a visual, FYI).
Different things inspire different people. Today is a celebration of something inspiring and very joyful for me. Love it or hate it, Star Wars has had an impact on the world we share.
May the fourth be with you!
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, as do our passions and imaginations.