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 business attire. But both of them are wearing t-shirts that have cartoonish pictures of robots…or droids, as they prefer to be called.

The front door opens and a gust of cold air sweeps through the room as a bunch of teenage boys come inside. All of them are wearing shirts sporting more droids, x-wings, and a certain villainous character garbed all in black. One of them is wearing a fur-covered body suit with a sash across the front.

This is Star Wars day.

I turn into a little kid when it’s time for a new Star Wars movie. A lot of us do. It’s not our fault. It’s just a part of who we are. Star Wars was a very big part of my teenage years. I was late to the game watching it but once I did I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of it.

There’s something about those movies that triggers my imagination more than a lot of the other things that I like. It’s not true science fiction like Star Trek, my other favorite fandom. It’s much more of a fantasy story than that. True, there are spaceships and aliens and all of that. But at the end of the day it’s a movie full of magic, wizards, and sword fights.

Star Wars is a fairy tale…and it’s my favorite one.

I can remember the first time that I saw each film. I remember my favorite viewing of each of the films. I remember seeing the remastered edition of the original trilogy when they re-released them in theaters. I remember lying on a sofa and watching A New Hope while my infant sister slept on my chest. I remember watching The Phantom Menace in 3D with my son. I remember seeing Rogue One with my daughter.

And last night I remember feeling that excitement again as we prepared to revisit that world again.
The previews subside…the theater grows quiet…and that famous sentence fills the screen…

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

And then the speakers explode with John Williams’ magnificent and instantly recognizable fanfare. I’m 12 years old all over again. The screen is covered in X-wings and TIE fighters. I’m hearing the same laser blasts and light-sabers bouncing off one another that I did back then. And my eyes are filled with the faces of old friends.

Look! There’s Chewie!

There’s Luke!

Ah…There’s Leia…

Princess Leia. Carrie Fisher will truly be missed.

And that’s all that I really have to say.  I saw The Last Jedi. I loved it. But I’m not going to do a full review here because my review would not be objective enough for you to really gauge the quality of the film. I’m too in love with that universe. They could drop a steaming pile of garbage in front of me and if Mark Hamill was standing on top of it with a light saber I’d give it two thumbs up.

Star Wars is a big part of my life. And judging by the amount of people that I saw last night, I’m not alone. This thing is just as huge now as ever and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Star Wars taught me that there is good in every person, no matter how bad they seem to be. It taught me that every person has the potential to be something great regardless of where they come from. And it taught me that no matter what you have done in your life there will always been time for you to redeem yourself.

Pretty good for a movie full of magic and laser swords.

May the Force be with you.

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