Are You a Star Wars Kid, Too?
Reminiscing and Reflecting with the Release of Episode VII
I’m excited to see the new Star Wars movie, as are many of my fellow Gen Xers who grew up alongside this epic story, now seven films long, and spanning four decades. The only other saga with that kind of staying power that I can readily think of is Rocky.
I was four years old when I saw Star Wars (Episode IV) for the first time. It was June of 1977. My older brother sat next to me, and quietly read me the words from the opening scroll. I was mesmerized from start to finish. I remember thinking, “These bad guys are just as cool as the good guys!” Every character and creature in the films was likeable and identifiable; and there was something iconic about the core cast that we would see play out successfully several times following. Ingredients from the princess-rebel-athlete-nerd-sidekick-villain casting recipe would show up in Breakfast Club, Ferris B’s Day Off and again in Lost Boys (sort of), as well as several other Gen X favorites.
I didn’t want the movie to end. We made four more trips to the theatre to see Star Wars that summer. Each subsequent viewing was as magical as the first.
So I greatly looked forward to reconnecting with my inner four-year old again this past weekend, as I experienced the latest Star Wars installment. While feelings about the last three episodes vary (except for Jar-Jar Binks; everyone hates him), for me, Star Wars, in its aggregate, has come to epitomize the limitless boundaries of our creativity and imagination. As a text book Gen X-er, there are a number of things in this world that I don’t fully trust, in a manner of playful cynicism common to my generation. But I do believe in the power of Star Wars, and its wonderful ability to transcend all ages and elevate the human spirit through magnificent storytelling and vibrant creative expression.
I was glad to find The Force Awakens was with wonder, and appropriately released during the “most wonderful time of the year”.
What do you remember about your first Star Wars experience?