Celebrating a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Mom and son Star Wars fans

I am beyond excited today, not because it’s Friday, or that Christmas is just over a week away, or that my husband is off next week. Well, I am excited about all those things. But today, there’s only one thing that’s keeping my heart all a flutter and a smile on my face.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally come out.

I know, it actually came out last night, but I’m not able to see it until this weekend.

That’s right, I’m 49 years old and I’m a huge Star Wars geek. From the first movie to today’s film, my love for Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, r2d2, C-3PO, Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader has never faltered. I’ve seen every movie in the series at least three times, except for Return of the Jedi, which I saw eight times.

Truth.

I was only 10 when the first movie came out. My dad was stationed on an Air Force Base on Crete, Greece, and we had to go into the city to watch it. The  theaters on base usually didn’t get movies for several months until after they came out. The theater where we went in the Crete city of Heraklion had a balcony and we were at the front so I didn’t have to worry about trying to see over everyone’s heads. The movie had English subtitles because the actors had Greek voiceovers.

I was completely fascinated by the story, the characters, the special effects, and the whole other world created by George Lucas. I remember going home and looking at the night sky through my bedroom window, praying that Luke and Leia really were up there in heavens, fighting for the Republic. But it wasn’t just these epic space battles that appealed to me. The Star Wars movies have so many mythological themes running through them: the hero’s journey, good versus evil, our obligations to the people around us and control over our own destiny. I don’t know if it was the fact that I spent four years in Greece surrounded by Greek mythology that made these themes very easy for me to understand as a young person, but they became even more relatable as I got older.

Maybe that’s why they continue to appeal to people my age. They are also part of our common history. We may not know each other, but we all know Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, etc. They’ve been part of our lives for so long. Seeing them again in these movies is like seeing a long lost friend or relative. Losing one of the characters like we did with Han Solo in The Force Awakens is like having a death in the family. Yes, I shed tears in the theater and do so at that scene every time I see the movie at home.

Told you I was a geek.

The Star Wars story continued to draw me in over the course of the next several movies. When the next set of movies came out (the sequels to the movies I saw as a kid), I was married but didn’t have my kids yet. That didn’t stop me from going to see The Phantom Menace. My boys were teeny tiny when the next two movies came out, but no one could save them from my Star Wars obsession. We saw the movies together, and lo and behold, two new fans were born.

My son, Chase, was so obsessed with the movies that every time we went to Target or Walmart, he had to get a “Star Wars guy,” (the latest character toy figure). They were the Legos in my house. I’d find them under car seats, step on them when I was walking through the house, or come across them in my purse. I also found pieces in the vacuum cleaner.

Chase is the little guy in the photo at the top of this post. I apologize for the poor quality of this photo but it’s about 11 years old. I think Chase was about four years old at the time (he is now 15). My office had a Halloween party every year and employees could bring their kids in for the fun. Chase dressed up as Anakin Skywalker and asked me to be Darth Vader.

He didn’t have to ask me twice. I even made Darth Vader breathing noises when I walked around the halls at work with my black cape flowing out behind me. Going to the party as Darth Vader with young Anakin holding my hand was one of the greatest moments of my life.

My two boys and I continue to be big fans, although Chase no longer asks for Star Wars guys when I go shopping. We plan to see The Last Jedi a few times. Then, like we did with the previous movies, we’ll buy it when it comes out so we can watch it whenever we want to at home.

My stepsons aren’t into  the Star Wars series as much as we are. My husband acts like he isn’t either. But I did come across an old plastic Darth Vader container when we were going through some of his things. It was for Star Wars guys, he said.

I think we have a fourth fan.

Or should that be a “Force” fan?

Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting my blog!

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