May the Fourth Be With You


It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks we’ll be celebrating Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary. I was a few months past my 11th birthday, the perfect age for what this little movie was offering. Star Wars, an homage to the serials of George Lucas’ youth, was everything to me then. I was Luke, a kid living on a small farm, dreaming of adventures in far off lands, believing fervently in an ancient, mystical power that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together. Forty years later, I still do.

Star Wars was a near perfect movie. All these years later, I see each subsequent film attempt to strip just a little bit of magic from the original, the one whose opening scrawl did not begin with the words “Episode Four: A New Hope”.

But try as they might, they can never rob from me that feeling that washed over me, sitting on the aisle seat, far right of the theatre in the front row, planted next to some old woman whom I didn’t know.

It was my coming of age in a lot of ways. It was the first movie I saw by myself. No parents. No friends. I was dropped off at the theatre to stand in an impossibly long line, and by the gods, I was by shear luck (or providence) the last person admitted into the theatre. I was scared, to be honest, being alone in a strange city and unaccompanied by any sort of supervision, but once the movie started and John Williams’ score carried me away… I wasn’t alone, or frightened… I was transfixed and amazed and reborn.

For many people in my generation, Star Wars was a defining moment, and though for most of us that magical experience is a distant memory, I can’t help but think its transformative effect is still with us now.

Ignoring everything that came after, clinging to the memory of that first glimpse into that universe, I can still let go of my conscious self and act on instinct. I can still feel the Force flowing through me.

Happy Star Wars Day. May the Force be with you… always.

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