Someone posted this on Facebook and I couldn't resist posting it on my blog. I'm a big fan of the entire Star Wars saga (yes, I'm a Generation X'er who actually loves the prequel trilogy. Not only that, but I also love Jar Jar Binks!). I owe a deep appreciation of gratitude to my father for taking me, as a five year old in the summer of 1977 to this unique space opera. He was 28 years old and I was starting Kindergarten in the fall. I don't really remember seeing it in the theater as much as I remember being really impressed with the movie. I loved R2-D2 the most and got one as my first action figure, though I think I was C-3PO for Halloween that year.
The film poster of Star Wars is probably my favourite film poster of all time. I remember just staring at it as a child and being filled with awe and wonder. When I would pretend, I imagined myself to be Luke Skywalker. When my dad was growing up, his childhood hero was Davy Crockett (it was a popular television program when he was young). It's an amazing gap. When my dad was a child, his adventures included pretending that he was some folkloric hero from America's frontier days (he said that every boy wanted a coonskin cap) while the next generation, my childplay adventures were set in outer space, with my bicycle doubling as an X-Wing fighter (I learned how to ride a bike without training wheels in 1980 when Empire Strikes Back came out).
In the summer of 1999, when The Phantom Menace played on movie screens, I felt a personal twinge of regret. I was the same age that my dad was in 1977, but I did not have a young son to take to see the Star Wars prequel. I was in college at the time and one of my roommates said that maybe I would have a child by the time Episode III was released in 2005. That didn't happen either. And now, for the next six years, George Lucas is bringing back the entire saga in 3-D for another fleecing of his loyal fanbase...and I still don't have a son to indulge in this father-son bonding moment.
For all those who are fathers (one of my friends just had his first child born on Thursday...nice timing!), enjoy the experience! I really hope that I get to be a father someday. To my own father, I thank him for taking his son to see a movie like this and letting the movies inspire his childhood adventures. My dad would never buy me G.I. Joe, though the plastic green army figures were okay. But it was the space fantasies of George Lucas (and Steven Spielberg) that fired my imaginations. My only birthday party in 1981 was space themed. I'm more grounded these days (it's hard to keep a Capricorn up in Cloud City), but I'll never forget the impact this film series had on my life and imagination. The Force is definitely strong in my life...and may it be with you as well.