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..And Restore Freedom to the Galaxy
by Michele Christopher
I spent a good portion of this weekend watching Star Wars. All of them. Cinemax had a mega marathon where they just played all six episodes back to back to back to back to....what seemed like infinity.
I didn't actually sit and watch it so much as just leave it on. Let the movies play in the background, hanging out there in my living room like good company. Walk in and see Han hanging around Hoth. Get some housework done, come back in the room and there's those damn ewok. Come back later, see Jar Jar and leave the room. Come back in time to hear Anakin's NOOOOOOO!
I could watch 3, 4 and 5 endlessly. The others...not so much. I've watched them and bought them just because, well, I had to. I couldn't call myself a Star Wars geek otherwise. I suffer through Attack of the Clones mainly because I have a Boba Fett fetish. I suffer through Return of the Jedi because despite the presence of those mangy little muppets and the hokey ending, it has its moments. I don't suffer through Phantom Menance. I did my time with it. I saw it. Once. I bought it. I feel like I have done my penance with that piece of crap and I don't have to sit through it ever again, not even for continuity's sake when I'm watching a marathon. There's laundry to be done while that one is playing. Gotta dye my hair. Rake the leaves. Anything but subject myself to watching little Anakin Skywalker whine his way through the movie. At least now we know where Luke got that trait from.
Someone once posed this question to me:
If you could erase your memory of any movie from your mind...just wave a wand and it's as if your brain never saw this film before...what movie would you choose to erase just for the sheer joy of seeing it again for the first time?
It's the last part that's the kicker. Sure, I'd love to erase ever having seen 3000 Miles to Graceland or Kazaam from my head. But the qualifying part of the question - to experience once again the joy of seeing it for the first time - leaves me with only one possible answers.
Star Wars. Episode IV. A New Hope.
It's not the best among the original trilogy; I reserve that honor for Empire Strikes Back. Yet I did not experience the same level of exhileration from ESB that I did from SW.
I remember sitting in the darkened theater. Words on the screen:
Then the Star Wars logo.
The music kicks in. John Williams' Main Theme.
The opening crawl starts up.
It is a period of civil war....
I felt it. Knew it. I was seeing something special. Maybe it was the music. I don't know. But I felt a sudden anticipation.
My jaw hung open the rest of the film. This was it. I was in love with a movie. I fell really fucking hard. The second it was over I wanted to see it again. And again. And again.
I still to this day get chills when I hear the opening music and see the first glimpse of that Destroyer.
Yes, I'm a geek.
I'd love to experience that again for the first time.
The only thing that has ever come close for me in a movie was, unsuprisingly, the opening sequence to Reveng of the Sith.
When the opening crawl to RoTS started and the music began I actually teared up. I swear to you, there were tears in my eyes and I almost, nearly started crying. And I'm not the only one. There was a sense of relief in the theater when the scroll came up. Like everyone sighed at once. Finally, our questions answered. The closure. The scroll and the music is the beginning of the end, and it's very bittersweet because you know that once the movie starts, you're on your way to it being over. Not just the movie being over, but the whole Star Wars saga that you spent 28 years of your life thinking about and talking about is over.
That was the closest I came to feeling that magic of watching Star Wars for the first time.
So what is it for you? What movie would you erase your memory of just to be able to experience its magic for the first time?
Michele once got busy with a life sized cardboard cutout of Boba Fett