When I was very little, my Dad introduced me to the world of big screen movies. He loved going to the movies and shared that love with us kids. The first movie I remember seeing as a child was Star Wars, and how could I not, my Dad took us to see it 7 times. I remember loving all the action and the characters. I was almost 2, so my favorite characters were R2D2 and Chewbacca. My older sister, Sarah, loved Princess Leia and on one Halloween my Mom rolled up her long hair to look just like Leia’s. I was jealous. I got to be a stupid clown. We spent a lot of our childhood playing Star Wars. We had a few of the action figures, but mostly we liked to make up our own stories, dressing up, and using things like wrapping paper tubes for light sabers. When Empire Strikes Back was released, our obsession only grew. After seeing Luke train with Yoda, our pretend play started to include more gymnastic moves and obstacle courses. We had new enemies to fight. It was glorious. Unfortunately, our world soon changed after that because our parents got divorced and our mother won custody which meant we had to move and not just across town, but to another country. We moved to Australia. It was a big change in our life. We had to go to a new school, make new friends, and deal with the fact that we were living in a whole new place. We were there for the next four years, but we got to come back to the US for Christmas break and on one those trips, my Dad took us to see The Return of the Jedi. It wasn’t as good as the first 2 movies, but it was still good and I, of course, loved the Ewoks. They were so cute and cuddly yet they could kick butt. My sister and I moved back to the US in December of 1984. We had a lot to learn when we came back. My mother had kept us from seeing movies over a G rating and we weren’t allowed to listen to anything but Christian music the whole time we lived with her, so we had a lot of catching up to do when we got back and we had to do it quickly because we were starting school, so we immersed ourselves in current pop culture by watching TV. My Dad had just got cable in the house, so my sister and I watched a lot of HBO and MTV to catch up on movies and music and fashion. My Dad also introduced us to his favorite, video games. My Dad took us to the arcade all the time. He would sit and play games himself while we ran around with our quarters and played everything we could till our quarters ran out then we would make our way back to him and watch him play. He was good, so his quarters always lasted longer than ours. We didn’t mind though. We loved watching him play as much as we loved playing. I was actually never very good at video games, so I was always amazed at how he played. Star Wars was one of those games that I particularly loved to watch him play. Watching him run the attack on the Death Star was so exciting. He was so quick. I could never replicate his moves and boy did I try. As we moved into the age of VHS, my Dad bought all the Star Wars movies and we just about wore out the tapes watching them over and over again.
We had a few good years with my Dad before he died when I was 15. He’d been sick since I was little, but that didn’t make it any easier when he died. I took it hard, but pretended not to. I dug into school and graduated. I got accepted to college and left home at the age of 17 to learn to make it on my own. I made new friends and built a new life. It took awhile, but I was happy with what I had achieved. Then I started to hear rumors that George Lucas was going to do more Star Wars movies. At first I was excited, but then the thought of seeing them without my Dad just didn’t seem right. I went to a re-release of the original Star Wars Trilogy on the big screen. A bunch of us went together, but I didn’t enjoy it. I actually went home and cried. So I didn’t see the new movies as they came out. I tried to watch them when they premiered on TV, but I couldn’t get into them. I have tried several times to go back and watch them, but every time I never finish I can’t make it all the way through.
I met my husband a little over 10 years. The minute I met him, I knew he was the one, but it wasn’t till we went on a few dates and got to know each other better that I knew why. Among the long list of things we had in common, we both shared a love for movies, books, and video games. He, of course, is much better at video games than I am, but we love playing together. We like competing against each other in some games and occasionally I actually win. But the games we like the most are the ones we can play as a team, figuring stuff out together, and making it through. Our love of Harry Potter lead us to the Lego Harry Potter games. The Lego games are not only fun to figure out and play, but they can be pretty funny too. So after we finished the Harry Potter games, we started moving on to other Lego games. Lego Star Wars was really fun. It brought back so many good memories. Things I hadn’t thought about in a long time. It felt good. I went back and watched the original trilogy on my own and have come to enjoy watching them again. So when they announced yet again that another Star Wars movie was coming out, I actually got excited, truly excited, like I was a kid again. Then I started seeing reviews from friends and family on FB as they went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens again and again. My excitement grew and when my husband and I were able to finally cut out a piece of time to go see it, we loved it. It was so good to see my old friends on the screen again. Now, we are anxiously awaiting the next installment and in the mean time, I get to watch my preschoolers and after school kids learn the joy of Star Wars and act it out just like my sister and I once did. Long Live Star Wars and May the Force be with You.