When I returned to high school in the fall of 1977, one of the kids in my class was wearing a shirt with a phrase on it that said “May The Force Be With You”. I found out quickly that this was related to the film Star Wars which had come out earlier that year. Obviously, I had not seen it yet. Even though Star Wars had come out in May of that year, it was not the full on cultural phenomenon that it would become. I will also admit that I might not have been the most in tune person to the latest in movies. While I enjoy sci-fi movies, I didn’t feel compelled to rush out to see the latest one every time a new one came out. I was 15 and a little too old to be fascinated with a movie that sold toys for kids and a little too young to be able to make it to the movies without an older friend or my parents. By the time I finally did go to see it, the Meco recording of the Star Wars theme had become a hit and the world had gone through its first Christmas with a rush on Star Wars toys that the manufacturers weren’t ready for. Star Wars ran for what seemed like a year before it left theaters. My mother took me and my friend Timmy to see it the very last week of that original run. I enjoyed it and immediately understood why so many people went to see it so many times.
In the summer of 1980, I had just graduated from high school. Timmy and I hung out together all the time but it wouldn’t be until the last week of its original run before we would make it to see The Empire Strikes Back. I was excited to see it but there were other movies that seemed more important to see. I remember enjoying it enough to pick up a copy of the soundtrack album on 8-track tape. This was probably the only Star Wars related item I ever purchased during the original run of the films.
Before The Return of the Jedi came out, Star Wars had been shown on HBO. It seems like it was on all the time at college. My friend Timmy and I didn’t hang out together as often. Each of us had steady girlfriends that occupied most of our attention. Keeping with tradition, we waited until the last week of the original run to get together and watch The Return of the Jedi.
By the time the prequels were released, Timmy and I didn’t see each other as often. His kids were much older than mine. We weren’t able to get together to see any of the films. I was interested in getting my 4-year-old son interested in the world of Star Wars when The Phantom Menace came out. We didn’t go see it the first weekend it came out but did go soon after that. I was disappointed that the film wasn’t better and I think this is one of the reasons that my son didn’t get into Star Wars that much. We watched all of them and even have all 6 movies on DVD but they rarely get viewed. With all of the prequels, we didn’t wait until the last week they were in theaters to see them but didn’t go the first week either.
I’m writing this less than a week after The Force Awakens was released. I have given strong consideration to waiting until the last week it’s in theaters to see this latest film. I’ve heard good reviews about this film and I’m excited about seeing it. Since it appears to be a return to the glory of the original trilogy, it seems like a natural to return to my original pattern for going to see them. I will also note that I’m writing this while I’m off for Christmas vacation. I would also really like to see the new film in 3D. I’m afraid that if I wait very long to see it, I will only be able to see the 2D version. It’s showing in 3D in a theater very close to me but I’m afraid they will not show it in this format for very long. I will not be posting this until January. What do you think I did?
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller