Remembering My Star Wars
With the Star Wars Blu-ray release in our reach and, most likely, already playing on our TVs, we can finally re-relish those moments all over again, for probably what is the hundredth time. Surely, everybody has a story to tell or a memory linked to those movies every time the name pops up. Well, here is my story and encounter with Star Wars, but obviously my story takes place a wee-bit later the original trilogy came out. Unfortunately, this occurred nearly a year before the release of the newer trilogy, which we shan’t rejoice here, since this is a place of joy.
It was summer 1998 and I was 10 years old and still living with my parents (I know, bummer, right?). Occasionally, my family and I would go on small trips out of the country, mostly on the upper east cost of the US, but since the birth of my brother in ’95, they were becoming less recurrent. Although, that summer, my parents had a surprise for us: we would go to visit my aunt and uncle who back then lived in Virginia, near Washington, DC. This was kind of a big deal, considering me and my sister had seen the pictures of their house, and let me tell you that our house looked like it was made out of shoes compare to theirs.
So we embarked upon this little 6-hour-roadtrip from Montreal to the state of Virginia (I really can’t remember the name of the city exactly. I know, shameful and lazy). Of course, for entertainment purposes, I previously recorded some movies on an audio tape with my boom box to listen on the ride, since there were no such things as portable DVD players or MP3 players back in the olden days. Anyhow, as soon as we got in the US, we kept stopping at gas stations, fast food chains to satisfy our earthling needs, of course. There is one thing I started noticing: advertisement for Star Wars: Episode 1 everywhere. I was baffled, if nonetheless. The first big place we stopped was at a Taco Bell near the highway and the place was covered with humongous stickers of Jar Jar Binks (still not knowing what the hell that was gonna be about), Anakin and speeders. Having a basic knowledge of Star Wars, given the fact that I’ve seen the movies when I was a bit younger but not really recalling any major plot lines due to attention spasm most kids suffer from.
I started wondering if I major with this new film coming out soon, and me not having a clue on why in bloody hell they were releasing these movies in the wrong order. In the awe of the moment, I pledged to myself that I wanted to know everything about this huge saga. So, I ordered my parents to buy me a Star Wars toy from Taco Bell. They said no. I cried discretely and hoped to run into another Taco Bell soon enough.
After the long drive, we finally arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house and were left to rest that night. Now, my aunt was the only one who I could communicate with properly since she was the only one who knew how to speak Italian. My uncle and cousins, all spoke only English and that was kind of a bum out since I could understand very little and not speak more than two or three words. The next day, we were all watching TV and the commercial for Phantom Menace came on. I got excited and stroke up a conversation with my aunt, asking her about the previous movies. The first thing she suggested was to make that day into a Star Wars marathon. Excited about the idea, we all went to the video store and rented Episode 4, 5, and 6 onDVD.
This time, I was really going to pay attention to everything and was devoted to understand as much English as possible. But of course, I’ve always been a fast learner, so not trouble there. I doubt my parents agreed back then, given that I would ask a question on a ten-minute-interval. We popped in the VHS, and it began. That music; I got goose bumps (still do). Everything amazed me in a way few movies did back then such as War Games and Close Encounters. I was soaking everything in with as much enthusiasm possible. Everything was perfect. Movie after movie, my parents, one after another, fell asleep (you know how parents are) and the others would get up because they couldn’t sustain sitting down for so long. I stayed there; lying on the rug, facing the TV without budging in fear for the spell would break. That was a beautiful day indeed.
After talking to my relatives about the latter movie coming out soon, I sensed a cringe in their regards for that particular movie. Apparently, it wasn’t going to be good, it would fall out of tone with the originals, and yatta, yatta. What did they know… right? After a full week, we returned home and me as a new person. Full of excitement and with a new love in my life, I started “building” Star Wars stuff out of carton, such as a very detailed Millennium Falcon (approx. 10 inches wide, and 2 inches thick). I developed an early appreciation for arts and crafts and found myself very adept at it. That ship hung on my room ceiling for almost 2 years, after that, I had to take it down since it was bloody paper and it was starting to wane. After, of course, I replicated Obi-One’s Lightsaber (again, out of carton) and made one for my brother as well for us to fight with.
So after a little while, Episode 1 was still playing at the movies and I collected as much change as possible (under the couch cushion was my favourite spot) and asked my parents if I could see the movie. So I did, but little did I know what was awaiting me, never for one second thinking it could actually be bad. Anyways, the first time I liked the movie cause, well, it was the first and only Star Wars movie I would go see at the theatre. But time went on…and watched it again, after I re-watched the whole original trilogy and I stepped out of denial and reasoned with myself that it was just plain bad. Everything that was original and outstanding about the movies was filled with unnecessary and irrelevant CG and bastardized with stereotyped characters with earth-like connotations for easier-to-relate jokes. Anyhow, dropping that before I go on and on about it.
So this was my little story on how I learned to love Star Wars even more that I thought I could love a movie. Never knew it could have such h a big impact on how I would think or relate to people, but of course this wasn’t the biggest influence I would have, but it was an important part of my pathway into the geeky person I am today and the beautiful childhood filled with Star Wars home movies my siblings and I would shoot with my handmade props…ah memories, right? Hopefully this little insight inspired you to think and relish your memories with these movies and I encourage to post your own as comments under this article, so that nerds like us, can all celebrate the release of the Star Wars Blu-ray (and trying to ignore all the stupid little changes Lucas did to them).