Star Wars, Empire and Jedi
Why I love the Original Trilogy so much
It was the summer of 1977. I was 9, going on 10 and my brother was 11 going on 12. We were both born in November. It didn't dawn on us at the time, but this was the last summer we'd share before he'd be off to middle school, leaving me alone in the elementary school we had both been attending for the last 5 years.
This will prove revealing as this story progresses. For now, I'll only mention that I knew the best friends he had at the time, as well as the local bullies that lived on our street.
My father, being a lover of science fiction since the days of black & white Buck Rogers newspaper comic strips and movies, may not have taken us on opening day, but I do remember my brother and I having to sit in the very front row, as my parents were only able to find a maximum of 3 seats in the non-neck-breaking rows.
Then the music, BAM, followed by the opening scroll which, from the front row of a 70's shopping mall cinema was mind-blowingly awesome. Though, again, we didn't realize it at the time. 'Stranger Things' comes to mind.
We were totally confused by the 'what-the-heck' is happening approach George Lucas had taken from a Kurosawa movie.
No one to stop us this time? What time? Last time what, man? What the heck are those robots talking about? Main reactor? Laser shots that fly around like bullets? Aren't lasers supposed to be solid beams of light? WTH??
Our eyes must've been bulging out of their sockets.
And then a protagonist who wants to be just like his father. This must've resonated with both my brother and I. We were HUGE dad fans.
There's nothing left for us here now. The only other family we've ever known burnt to a crisp? Heck yeah, screw this place, let's go be Jedi's. Lets follow the old coot. Effin friggin Empire.
Fast forward a couple of years. My brother had gotten slightly colder, though I now realize it was to help keep the peace at the homestead. Middle school isn't like elementary. He let me know: you're not all in the same room anymore, you have to pick up your schedule first, find your room. Oh, and only he and a handful of buds had the same schedule.
Holy Moley, what am I in for? My only two buds from elementary both turned out to be gay. Apart from them, all the other kids in my homeroom, advanced section were girls.
Middle school is where things really started going to shit. My 'Dennis the Menace' personality only made things worse. Much worse I have to admit. I was an angry young man scared to death of getting beat up in front of everybody.
Around this time, The Empire Strikes Back was released - finally. I mostly remember watching it at a famous old theatre in Houston, and thinking that Darth Vader was totally full of crap. You ain't frigging Dad for DAMN sure, you scary evil POS. I don't remember my brother being too bothered by it.
You see, sometime before
When Return of the Si... oops Jedi, came out, I definitely remember thinking: That Obi Wan better have a damn good reason for lying. "From a certain point of view?" Certain point of view? Get the F... uh... out of town, you glowing lying sack of shit. I call BS.
So, as it turns out (keep in mind that the movies were referred to as Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi back then) It's impossible for any other movie to ever impact me quite the same.
Star Wars: Who's Luke Skywalker? Both me AND my brother. Who's Princess Leia? My sister. Who's turns out to be a kind loving father surrounded by a menacing front? My father. Who's Han Solo? My sister's husband. Who's Chewbacca? All the family pets we had always wished for (we had plenty of cats in my house but were forbidden a doggy for fear of dog crap) or subsequently owned. We've all had dogs since then.
You might ask where my Mom fits in. As far as I can tell, she was the Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen who wanted Luke to know more about his father, but at the same time didn't want them to go traipsing around after him.