Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Happy Star Wars Day!

I just found out on Twitter that today is Star Wars Day. "May the 4th" be with you! Get it? I know, bad joke. I didn't make it up! In 2007, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars, Parade magazine asked readers to submit their favorite memory of the first time they saw Star Wars at the movie theater. Here's the story I submitted:

Science fiction wasn’t exactly the genre of choice for twelve-year-old girls in 1977. I had barely even heard of Star Wars, let alone had any desire to see it. But my dad had read about it, and really wanted to go. There was no way he could drag my mom to see it (and she still hasn’t seen it to this day), but my younger sister and I decided we had nothing better to do, so we agreed to go to the theater with Dad.

From the opening scene, we were mesmerized. The sounds of battle. The beautiful princess. The humorous robots. The menacing villain. It was a fantasy world we wanted to immerse ourselves in again and again. We thanked our dad over and over for making us go. We became Star Wars groupies. We bought the soundtrack album, and even the audio recording of the movie so we could memorize all the lines. (My lips still move to the words when I watch the original Star Wars movie.) That Halloween, I donned an old flowing nightgown of my mother’s and fastened two hairpieces shaped into buns on each side of my head. I was the beautiful Princess Leia. My sister wore a cape with a big hood over her head and miniature flashlights for eyes, transformed into a Jawa. We argued over who was cuter, Luke or Han Solo. (Han was always my pick.)

My love of Star Wars is something I now share with my two oldest sons, who became addicts of the second trilogy. When The Phantom Menace arrived in 1999, they were six and nine, perfect ages to fall under the magic spell of Star Wars. We collected figurines of the movies’ characters, played with numerous light sabers, and anticipated the release of each new movie. My oldest son, now seventeen, still has Star Wars collectible items in his room.

Star Wars has captured the imaginations of three generations of our family. To this day, when I hear the opening music of each Star Wars movie, I am a wide-eyed twelve-year-old girl again, enraptured by the sights on the screen in front of me. Star Wars will always be my favorite movie, my dearest memory, and my first passionate love affair with the cinema.

What is your favorite Star Wars memory?

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