Star Wars Hits 30

Well, Star Wars officially turns 30 today (so will I, in a little over a year). There’s a great article about it over at Show Me SciFi, in case you want to check it out.

Being a nerd at heart, Star Wars has shaped my life significantly… probably much more than is healthy. Even the theme for my personal blog here is based on the Force. I grew up watching the movies and often imagined myself wielding lightsabers, flying X-wings, and using the force.694px-star_wars_logosvg.png

As a matter of fact, Lauren and I had gone out to eat with a group of people some months ago. I was sitting at one end of the table with the rest of the guys, and she was down at the other end with all the girls. For some reason, I needed to get her attention, so instead of shouting at her, I stared into the back of her head and thought Lauren! as hard as I could. I figured if it worked for Luke when he was hanging underneath Cloud City, then maybe it would work for me too.

It didn’t. But it does show you how powerful those movies have been to my generation. Or how pathetic I am. Depends on how you choose to look at it…

Next Friday night, we’re going to see the Alabama Symphony Orchestra do a concert in the park that will consist of music from the six films. Should be a lot of fun.

Recently, I’ve gotten into some of the Extended Universe stuff, which is basically books, video games, etc, that take place in the Star Wars universe. The Knights of the Old Republic video games have been excellent. And the plot lines are so good that they’re even considered canon. Lately, as you can see from my wishlist at Amazon, I’ve developed an interest in reading some of the books that come after Return of the Jedi.

I just can’t help myself. Star Wars (or Sty Wars, as Madelyn calls it) is in my blood.

And it’s truly magical when you get to experience watching the films with someone who’s never seen them before. When I first started dating Lauren, I forced her (pun intended) to watch them. When we got to the part in Empire Strikes Back (spoilers ahead, if you’ve never seen it) where Luke’s hand gets cut off, everyone in the room gasped, and Lauren’s mom, who was watching with us, exclaimed, “He can grow it back, can’t he?!”

“Grow it back?!” I answered. “No! He’s not a lizard!”

And then, when Vader revealed himself to be Luke’s father, the whole room gasped in surprise! I couldn’t believe it! I thought everybody knew that! It was great. It almost made the movies new to me again. I can’t wait to watch them with my girls, when they get old enough to actually grasp what’s happening. For now though, I’ll have to keep enduing the Barbie/Disney princess days.

But my day will come soon enough. The Force is with me.

Thought question: When sharing the Star Wars experience with a newb, do you start with Episode 1, or 4?

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9 thoughts on “Star Wars Hits 30

  1. I was waiting on a star wars post. You have done well to wait as long as you did; or is that just the lazy side in you?

  2. While you are clearly more into the world of Star Wars than I, I’ve seen them all. And I personally enjoyed the first (the older) three much more than the latest three. To the point that I’ve seen the older ones many times and don’t care to rewatch the latest three. That is just me though…

    …I do have one question that I’ve never actually seen answered. Did light saber technology regress over the years? The double edged saber was common in the lastest three but were nowhere to be found in the older ones. Has that ever been addressed? I know I’m not the only one who has wondered about that.

    On a side note, kidding aside. While I didn’t enjoy the latest three as much as I did the older ones and I’ve never gotten into the saga past watching the movies, there aren’t too many stories that can match the depth and entertainment value of the Star Wars story.

    I could watch the Star Wars series and the Lord of the Rings trilogy non-stop for the rest of my life and be fairly happy. (No books, magazines, or any of that…I’m strickly a movie man!)

  3. Yeah… I think I’d start with episode 4 as well. I mean, if you started with 1, you wouldn’t get that gasp of surprised when the connection between Vader, Luke, and Leia is revealed.

    The History Channel had a couple of pretty cool documentaries about Star Wars last night. Anyone else catch those?

  4. I wish I had caught those, but I no longer get the History Channel. We dropped our subscription down to about the lowest level, since we never seem to watch anything other than the network stuff.

    Anyway, to answer your question Jay, the double-bladed lightsaber is supposed to be a very difficult weapon to use, and it really just boils down to personal preference when anyone chooses to use it. So in the Original Trilogy, you only see 3 people wield lightsabers; two of them are Obi-Wan and Vader, who typically only used 1 single-bladed lightsaber each. Luke was taught by Obi-Wan and Yoda, each of whom only used 1 single a piece. So I think the primary reason (if you want to stay within the story) is personal preference.

    However, your question still brings up a really good point. There’s definitely a difference in overall technology between the first and second trilogies. In part, that’s often explained by strain everyone was under with the Empire. That creativity and technology was stifled, or strictly used for government projects, which accounts for the sometimes austere look of the original trilogy.

    Anyway, I know that was way more involved than what you were probably looking for, but I just couldn’t help myself. Those of you who thought I might have been calling myself a nerd and dork jokingly are now convinced otherwise. 🙂

  5. Started the girls off with Episode 4 tonight. I think they enjoyed it… letting them play with a toy lightsaber definitely piqued their interest though.

    It’s a long movie for a 3.5 yr old to watch, but Madelyn did pretty well with it. She was absolutely glued to the TV all the way up to C-3PO and R2-D2 landing on Tatooine. I thought that was pretty good.

    She declared herself to be Darth Vader for quite awhile, not understanding that he’s not quite the hero of the story. But once he fried Obi-Wan, I think she changed sides. She then asked me if she and I would kill Vader. I just told her to watch the movie.

    I gotta say, it was cool getting to share it with her, especially since she stayed pretty interested in it. I can’t wait to introduce her to the other installments…

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