Star Wars: Seventh Grade Awakens

**** No spoilers. Youth preserved nicely. ****


A long time ago I was in the seventh grade, and the talk in the school hallways of my corner of the galaxy was about a new movie, Star Wars. Looking back to those now far, far away days, I realize it was my first encounter with binge viewing. It wasn't good enough to go to Star Wars. You had to go to Star Wars 80 times, like Danny McGee.

A long time ago
This was because Star Wars was something completely different. It didn't matter that it was the oldest storyline in the universe. It was brand new for us. And it wasn't just better than Charlotte's Web and The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Wonderful World of Disney and whatever else we were watching. It obliterated them.

There was no way back. And there was no way of knowing how many years until The Empire Strikes Back would arrive to blow our minds. The only option was to keep coaxing money out of our parents to keep watching Star Wars, keep depositing ourselves in the Londonderry Mall movie theatre, and keep comparing with each other how many times we had seen Star Wars.

And then the strangest thing happened: life wiped from scene to scene.

Empire came and went, and then Return of the Jedi, and the theatres themselves disappeared—Londonderry, gone, Meadowlark, gone, Paramount, still there but essentially gone—and then, wipe, Shelagh (Shelagh?!! What planet did that princess come from?) sewing little, brown Franciscan habits for Jawa costumes for the boys for Halloween and those little red eyes inside their dark hoods tricked up by Vic Gobeil at ITV who attached red lights to hairbands worn as visors and then, wipe, voting at Parkland Arena for the name of our minor hockey team and, count the votes, yes, we are now the KC Annunciation Novice Light Sabers, and, wipe, John Flynn's hulk of a Parisienne we nicknamed The Millennium Falcon and then, wipe, dad, are we really in space? and me, yes, we are at Star Tours in Disneyland, and, then, wipe, as we drove to Kananaskis one of the boys saying the ski jumps at Calgary Olympic Park looked like AT-AT walkers, and then, wipe, talking in the photocopy room last week to Sonia Piano about the summer of 1977 and how George Lucas put a fork through the Apple Dumpling Gang in my generation's version of the light-speed jump from crooners to Elvis.
Last night

And, so, there was little question about whether we would go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Even after Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. At worst, it would be like episodes 1, 2, and 3, which were like going back to watch the car crash that claimed your youth.

So, yes, last night, we went with our next generation, our no-longer-little Jawas and their girlfriends, and we enjoyed the movie together and we ate popcorn, the last of which I have, this morning, finally picked out of my dental work. I did have a bad filling about that.

More than once I cheered openly. The first note of the fanfare, the scrolling text, Han Solo and Chewie's arriving on screen, Admiral Ackbar around the war table, each got a fist pump and hurrah, and I wasn't the only one. Okay, maybe for Admiral Ackbar I was the only one, but I have long thought his considered and measured advice in times of extreme pressure for the rebel alliance was worth admiring. That Utah baseketball coach could use a little more Ackbar to ease the pressure on his own bulging eyes. But he did beat the Duke empire yesterday, so, who am I to talk?

The movie is very good, even though it is not, it can't be for me, what it was for me in the seventh grade. Since then, time has started to do its covering work, like the shroud that half-masked the Millennium Falcon in the Jakku desert. But that bucket of bolts did take off last night and it did evade the tie fighters and it did safely and joyously take me back at light speed to the seventh grade and the places in the galaxy I have visited since.

Last night I watched it in 3-D.

The last generation

I might go watch it again in IMAX.











Comments

  1. Ah Glenn....Thanks for a dash down memory lane......I will never forget the binge watching (Although I capped at 13 for Star Wars I have beaten that with Lord of the Rings). You know how to capture the sweet feelings....

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  2. 13! Impressive. I shook enough money loose to get up to 5 or 6, I think. The next 500 I watched in my head. :)

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