I wasn’t always a Star Wars fan.
When I was 7 years old, my family went to see Star Wars in the theater. I remember thinking Luke was cute and wanting to be like Princess Leia, because she was both pretty and pretty strong. Yes, she did get captured, but she led the rebellion, knew her way around a gun, and wasn’t going to let any handsome scoundrel give her orders.
We saw The Empire Strikes Back and I know I was affected by it – I started writing a baseball parody called “The Umpire Strikes Back.” I lamented that my hair wasn’t long enough to put in braids like Leia. And at the age of 10 I could appreciate both Han Solo and Yoda. (I was a big Muppets fan.)
I honestly don’t remember much about watching Return of the Jedi as a child. Maybe I skipped that one? Maybe I just didn’t like it enough to remember it later on. When the movies were re-released in the 90s, I missed that one, because I was working when my husband (then boyfriend) saw it with friends. And when we were finally able to buy it on DVD, I couldn’t remember a lot of it – especially anything having to do with the Emperor.
When the prequels came out, I saw the first one with my husband. He was really excited about it, and I was curious to see how the Darth Vader story unfolded. When Episode II came out, I wasn’t super gung-ho to see it, as I was a mom of a toddler and was basically always tired. My husband really wanted to see it, so I welcomed him to see it without me and I saw it when he bought it on dvd later on. I saw Episode III on my own. I was pregnant with my youngest child and had one of THOSE days with my toddler and preschooler. My husband took one look at my tear-stained face and shooed me off to the movies and handled the kids while I ate popcorn and watched Anakin take his final steps to the Dark Side.
I liked the movie, but I didn’t fully embrace Star Wars until my son was 5 years old. (Side note: my husband’s plan was to show him episodes 1-6 in order. I suggested he start with the originals like we did. He showed my son Episode I and then agreed with me.😛 )
Seeing the movies through your child’s eyes makes everything seem more exciting. Jedis, Darth Vader, ships, The Force, lightsabers… all of it! My daughters loved Princess Leia and Queen Amidala. In fact, for many years, Star Wars was well represented in our Halloween costumes.
My son as Anakin
One daughter as Leia, one daughter as Padme
My son as Jango Fett
My son as Anakin again and my husband (in mirror) as a Jedi
My husband as Han Solo and my son as Luke (with Yoda)
We have really embraced Star Wars in our house, as you can see. We’ve been to conventions like these and seen Star Wars in 30 Minutes, and seen Star Wars Exhibitions and I spend time thinking about Star Wars.
So, you see my background. The Force is with our family. So of course we were all excited (and a little apprehensive, truth be told) about the new Star Wars movie – The Force Awakens. Each time a new trailer came out, we got more excited. My faith in JJ Abrams grew with each new peek at the movie.
We finally saw it on Tuesday, and we were NOT disappointed. I will not give any spoilers, but WOW. The new characters are great, but it’s so wonderful to see some old friends. I think young girls will want to be Rey just as I wanted to be Leia as a child. Young boys will think Finn and Poe are awesome (because they are), just as my husband and brothers thought Luke and Han were cool. And the bad guys are scary, just as they were in the original trilogy.
No movie is perfect, but boy oh boy – props to JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan! Well done. I can’t wait to see the next episode.
Have you seen Star Wars? Did you love it? Did it live up to your expectations?