When I was growing up, Star Wars was always running on television. As a matter of fact, any one of the classic trilogy seemed to be on any time I wanted to watch it. Slowly but surely, it became ingrained into my being. Shelves were adorned with heroes and villains, posters were hung, soundtracks became memorized, friendships were formed – all based around a love for this galaxy far, far away. It’s hard not to romanticize Star Wars’ return to the center stage as I experience it again, for the first time.
Just to get this out of the way: to me, the prequels don’t hold the same weight as a “first.” This is simply because we all knew how it’d end. I could easily diverge into that discussion, but that’s not the article you’re looking for. Moving along…
I can’t recall the first-first time I watched the movies. However, I do remember the days in which I realized that my dad was a young man when Star Wars was originally released. I would ask him very specific questions about the characters. To me, it was like speaking to an elder Jedi Knight who witnessed galaxy-changing events. To him, Star Wars is simply awesome. While he loved Star Wars as much as everyone else did at the time, the fan-hood was different. That is to say, they didn’t have encyclopedias to which to turn when seeking information around an X-Wing’s fuel injection system. But, he’d feed the fire in my heart by trying. We would see it in theaters when it was re-released in ’97, he’d grab random Star Wars stuff when he saw it, and call me to say stuff like, “Daniel, I am your father!” He still does these things, because Star Wars is so much more than a film; it’s a family matter. And also because he’s a wonderful goofball.
These experiences made the franchise something of a myth to me; legends to be shared and looked back upon – but never held in the present for long. I’d internally decided to one day share such tales with my future son or daughter. As soon as they were of age to comprehend a movie with a plot, I’d try to recreate the magic as best as possible – just like my father before me. It looks as though Disney and director J.J. Abrams have beaten me to the punch.
With the imminent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – a direct sequel to 1983’s Return of the Jedi, it seems that my peers and elders are all children again. The cycle begins anew, and Star Wars is bridging a gigantic generation gap. The air around me is aflame with excitement. Everything feels surreal, and everyone’s in on it. Rather than being lead through the mystifying world of Star Wars, the youths of today will have a tale to tell of their own when they are adults. Furthermore, it looks as though I get to be the one taking my dad to see Star Wars. This is uncharted territory, and we’re all left to wonder where it will leave us.
Stories which I grew up with will now continue into my adulthood. It’s the best of both galaxies, and I can’t wait to experience it with the rest of this world.