Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, a brilliant man made a movie.
The year was 1977, your mom was not born yet, and your father just barely. George Lucas released the first of what was to become a six movie series titled Star Wars, later to be renamed A New Hope. Originally the movies were released episode IV, V, VI; 20 years later they made the first three episodes. In 1999 they released episode I to be followed by II and III.
1977 Episode IV; A New Hope
1980 Episode V; The Empire Strikes Back
1983 Episode VI; Return of the Jedi
1999 Episode I; The Phantom Menace
2002 Episode II; Attack of the Clones
2005 Episode III; Revenge of the Sith
Now it is hard to describe the impact these movies had on my life growing up, let alone the nations. But I will say they changed everything. Little boys no longer played “cowboys and Indians” or “cops and robbers” but now they were “rebels vs the Empire” or “Jedi vs Sith” or “Darth Vader vs Luke Skywalker”
They battled with Light Sabers and Blasters, they made robots and spaceships. We all had roles: Uncle Ryan was Luke Skywalker, Tante was Princess Leia, I was R2D2 (my favorite character), our neighbor Andy was either Han Solo, unless Uncle Jake was there then he had to be Chewbacca. We would endlessly act out scenes from the movies, by this time the first three had been released. When your Uncle Ryan got pneumonia he watched Star Wars all day long.
Not only did it become a staple in our lives, but the lives of millions. There are conferences and millions of dollars are spent on Star Wars products. Boys, girls, young and old love these movies. I will not go into the reasons why, you will find them for yourself. I recently came across this article in the NY times and he more eloquently describes the love for this movie, by boys who have never yet seen it.
When you started to walk and talk and role play, this past year, one of the things you played was “Star Wars.” With LT you would battle with light sabers, then you watched the girls play ‘Lego Star Wars’ on the Wii. At this time your cousins had never seen the movies but were fans, just like you, because of the games. Finally PooPaChoo decided to make them watch the movies and would explain what was happening.
We were over there one night and they mentioned watching one of the movies and you came up to me and said “I wanna watch Star Wars” it was the proudest moment of my life (so far)! “Yes!” I said, forget dinner and bedtime and all of that! Watch this wonderful movie that I love so dear. OK so lets not forget the fact that you were just barely 2 years old. So you didn’t sit down and really watch it, but you would watch parts of it. Mostly the parts that involved battles and fighting with light sabers. But you LOVED those parts.
Now you know all the characters names, well the main ones, and you can pick them out of a line-up. You have Star Wars toys, and light sabers and you are constantly wanting to watch the movies. And I couldn’t be happier about. It is amazing to be able to share something I loved as a kid, with my children and see the same amazement and joy in your eyes.
I will admit that for your first birthday I found it only natural to have a Star Wars themed birthday party for you. I made you dress up as a Jedi, a costume your Bamma made for you. I loved it, and don’t worry we will do a Star Wars theme again, probably more then once!
(images are from http://www.starwars.com/)