May. 25th, 2012

lazypadawan: (Default)
Sorry, wrong song ;).

The very first Star Wars film was unleashed upon the world 35 years ago today with all of the subtlety of a nuclear bomb. Oh sure, "they" didn't expect much from it but the people proved "them" wrong. In an era long before Twitter or Facebook, word got around very quickly that "Star Wars" (it wasn't ANH until 1979) was something special. The underlying story and themes were older than dirt but there was still nothing quite like it before or, even in our blockbuster-saturated age, since. There hasn't been any other movie within my lifetime that really affected people and the culture in a permanent way like this one did.

I first heard about the movie shortly before it came out from my dad. I wanted to see "Carrie"--a movie a little too big for my 7-year-old britches--but my dad said, "You're too young to see that. We'll see Star Wars; it's coming out soon." Oh okay, whatever.

Then I saw the advance ads in the newspaper and found the novelization in the bookstore, the kind they used to have with movie photos in the middle of the paperback. I looked through the pictures--I didn't actually look at the text for some reason--and seriously, I thought Obi-Wan was Leia's dad or something. I figured the gist of it was some princess is abducted and all of these people were out to go rescue her.

The good news was a theater in town was one of the lucky 32 screens to get the film opening day (Valley Circle, R.I.P.). The bad news was it was one of the lucky 32 screens to get the film opening day. Everybody from miles and miles around descended upon the theater, creating huge lines visible from the freeway. My parents concocted a plan to see the film during the week, pulling my brother and I out of school for a "doctor's appointment." This taught me a valuable lesson: Star Wars is more important than anything, including school. (Three years later, I skipped CCD to see TESB; let's hope God is in a good mood on Judgment Day.)

There still was a line on that June day in 1977, but we only had to wait one show to see the film. I'll never forget what a carnival it was, complete with people hawking homemade buttons and a lady trying to cast kids for a commercial. The funny part was my dad, on hooky from work, ran into somebody else from his office. Heh heh.

When we got home, the first thing my brother and I did was draw all of the characters. We couldn't remember everybody's name!

So started the madness that afflicts me to this day.

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