Skip to main content

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...Star Wars

The air outside is crisp. You can see your breath and the end of your nose is red and cold. The houses that you pass have Christmas trees in the windows. There are lights arranged all over the front lawns. The stores are all lit up and twinkling. The bell ringers are sitting in front of the shops collecting your spare change for charity.

But it’s not a Christmas party that we’re going to tonight.

I’m sitting in a restaurant with my wife and my daughter. It’s not a fancy place. “It’s not the Shangri-La,” as I’ve been known to say in description of any place that doesn’t require a jacket and tie. No, this is just a hamburger joint.

We’re sitting in a booth enjoying big, fat cheeseburgers, shoestring fries, and ice cream sundaes. There is electricity in the air. There is a smile on my face. This is a special day.

At the table next to us there are two men about my age. They’re having a casual conversation about their work and if you just listened to the words you’d think they were in bus…

40 Movies For 40 Years: 1983

I turned 6 years old in 1983. That was the year that I started the first grade. That’s pretty much the only thing that I remember about being 6. I went to school and I watched a lot of Sesame Street. I wasn’t watching a lot of movies at the time but there were a lot of them coming out that year. John Travolta was Staying Alive, Matthew Broderick was playing War Games, and 007 was back in Octopussy.

I looked at the movies that were released in 1983 and I tried to really ask myself the tough questions. Is this really your favorite movie of the year or are you just saying that because of the others. Well, as I looked through the list once…twice…three times…there is no doubt that my favorite film of 1983 is Return Of The Jedi.

Jedi, as it’s called by fans, is the final installment of the original trilogy of Star Wars films. And, other than a couple of terrible Ewoks TV movies and a short lived cartoon called Droids, it was the last we would see of the Star Wars universe for over 15 years.

I say that it is my favorite movie of that year, but it is definitely the weakest film in the trilogy. The level that we were taken to in Empire could not possibly have been matched or brought back down with satisfaction. Audiences had already had an expectation of how the story was going to end and nothing that Lucas could have done was going to scratch the itch just right. So, we got the Ewoks…which were kind of a weird species to enter the franchise. They were small, cute, teddy bear like creatures that threatened our heroes with cannibalism and defeated an army of Storm Troopers with sticks and stones.

The story was a lot more loosely constructed than the last two had been. It was as if the studio decided that it was going to be three films and three films only. The trilogy was the king. If the story had possibly been fleshed out to four installments it might have connected a little better.

But for its faults it still has some great moments that are some of my favorites from the entire series. The scene in Jabba’s palace is a classic. The death of Yoda still makes my eye twitch when I see it. And the unexpected revelation that Luke and Leia were siblings…a revelation that was probably a shock to Lucas as well since no one really believes that he had planned that from the beginning.

Watching Vader sacrifice himself to save Luke was a wonderful scene as well. I don’t know if that one moment of goodness should really absolve him of all the death and torment that he had caused in his life, but it worked for the story.


So, every story has its ending…and while Jedi wasn’t a perfect ending to Star Wars, it is still a great installment in the franchise. And it is by far my favorite movie from 1983.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Stretching From Here To Pletcher"...a tribute to Steve Latham

Today is a dark day.
If you’ve ever read any of my blog posts before then you’ve heard me tell the stories of my experiences in high school. I was bullied. I was bullied a lot. It’s something that has affected me my entire life. It has caused social anxiety issues that I deal with to this day. It’s not something that I like to remember, but it’s my history and it’s a part of who I am.
Granted, I was an awkward teenager. I didn’t play any sports. I wasn’t on the little league team. I didn’t even like watching sports...I still don’t. I don’t know enough about football to have an extended conversation about it. The stuff that I was into was a lot nerdier than that. I liked Star Trek. I liked reading science fiction and fantasy novels. I liked writing stories. I liked watching old black and white monster movies. I liked British sitcoms. Like I said…weird kid.
When I was a junior in high school I signed up to be a library aid for one class period a day. I figured I liked to be around book…

Seventeen

He was a kid.
He wasn’t literally a child. I mean, he was technically a grown man at the age of 23. But he hadn’t really experienced much of life. The small town life had been all he’d every really known and he had not yet figured out what his place in the world was. He made $6.50 an hour at a job that didn’t really hold much of a future for him. He spent his days working and at night he’d sit alone in his room, watching TV and wishing that there was more to his existence.
She was a kid, too. She was only 22. And in her short life she’d actually already lived a lot. She’d lived long enough to have been hurt by the man she loved. And she’d been around long enough to have a precious little boy that meant the world to her. She thought she had everything she needed. She thought that if it were just her and her son that she’d be fine.
The Universe had other plans.
These two met one day. They went on a date. Neither of them was really out to find a relationship. They were each just trying …

Grandmother's Dressing

My grandmother was an interesting woman, to say the least.
She had a style that could only be described as…”Faye”. That was her name and her style was all her own. She loved to wear colorful clothes. Going back and looking at the pictures now I’d say that a lot of the things that she wore didn’t always match. But she liked it and she was the kind of woman that you didn’t dare speak against lest you wanted to spend the next thirty minutes being told why you’d better get your head right.
But there was never any reason to say anything. She dressed well. She had a pair of red heels in her closet. She always said that every woman should have a pair of red heels, which is a piece of advice that my mother never followed since there wasn’t a red heel anywhere in our house…but that’s beside the point.
She also used to say that a lady should always put on some lipstick before her husband comes home from work. She said it was important to look your best after he’s been working all day to suppor…