I grew up with Star Wars… A lot of people our age did. But like many things from my childhood, my love for Star Wars had somehow faded far, far away over the years. Sure, I wanted to see the new Star Wars movie coming out in December… but I guess I didn’t know HOW much. Because when that new trailer came out this week, I was hit with an unexpected cascade of emotions. This was the image that punched me in the gut:
It was just a glimpse of Princess Leia… more than thirty years later, with streaks of white in her hair, leaning on the shoulder of Han Solo… Immediately they transported me back to my childhood.
That’s me in my Darth Vader costume with my sister one Halloween. God I loved those movies so much. I had the Yoda poster on my wall and the Empire Strikes Back sheets on my bed.
For the holidays one year, I got a Darth Vader carrying case like this one. Best. Gift. Ever. And I spent the next years loading it up with all the original action figures.
I had all the toys.. and the Millenium Falcon… when they were made by Kenner… the Kenner with the blue bubble letters that I could get with my mom when we shopped at KMart.
After Return Of The Jedi, the trilogy seemed complete. The movies had bookmarked my childhood. Done. I was growing up and action figures weren’t so cool in middle school anyway. Heck, I wasn’t so cool in middle school. So they were boxed up like Andy’s things in Toy Story. After my father died, in a fit of teen rebellion, they were eventually, and very regrettably, sold at a yard sale for dirt cheap.
That was it. Or so I thought. I kept tabs on Star Wars over the years but it wasn’t a priority anymore. I grew up… got married… had two great kids. They know Star Wars… but they don’t KNOW and love Star Wars. They don’t have that deep passion and love I had for it as a kid. They just don’t. Which brings me back to that screen grab of Princess Leia in the new movie. When I saw her in the trailer with wrinkles of time on her face, and streaks of white in her hair, looking like she is reflecting on all that has happened, weirdly, I saw myself. So much has happened since I was a little kid. So much. Yet this movie, this fantasy movie has been with me the entire time. And even though I thought the last chapter was really written long ago and far, far away, with my kids now, I see a new chapter is being written. We’re taking them to see the movie. I want them to know the Force has awakened.