A lot of you might question my continued love of a trilogy which I’ve only seen three times. If you’re not familiar with the Star Wars fanverse, that’s the equivalent of confessing that you’re completely in love with a person that you’ve only glimpsed once from afar. Most Star Wars Fans can’t count how many times they’ve seen the original trilogy and these fans, would say that I’m not a “true fan,” b/c I not only did I only watch each movie in the original trilogy 2-3 times a piece, but I also haven’t seen the original trilogy since my childhood. Yes, I’m actually admitting to not having rewatched Star Trek since I stopped rewatching movies when I was 18. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen Episodes IV, V, or VI.
Yet, I love the original trilogy. Why? Two words: deep nostalgia. As I’ve mentioned here before, I grew up with a nerd mom, back when a lot of people didn’t have nerd moms. She was an accountant — and she really liked working with numbers. She wore big glasses, and her one attempt at contacts went so badly that she gave up on them after a week and never tried them again, even after soft contacts came out. She was weirdly unfashionable. She had several environmental and food allergies. She got me a generic Transformer for my birthday one year. She loved Star Trek, Dark Shadows, and Dr. Who. She adored books — allowing my sister and me to read whatever we wanted with the belief that if we were old enough to pick it out at the library, then we were old enough to read it. And she really, really, really loved movies. A lot of movies that other people my age saw on video and TV, I saw in movie theaters, including the Rated-R stuff like Risky Business and Revenge of the Nerds.
There is this one Saturday that my sister and I can’t talk about anymore, b/c it makes us cry: Mom took us to swimming class in the morning, then we went to see THE LAST STARFIGHTER at the dollar show. Then we went to free swim at the Y. Then we had fried chicken for lunch. Then we went to see BACK TO THE FUTURE. Then we got takeout from a now-defunct place called Godfather’s Pizza. Then we came home and watched SPLASH on cable. This, in my sister and my opinions, was nothing less than the perfect day, and it will always rank in our Top Ten Mom Memories.
But back to Star Wars. I was six when STAR WARS: Return of the Jedi came out. My sister was four. Neither of us had ever seen the other two movies, but our local first-run movie theater hosted showings of the first two STAR WARS in the trilogy in the weeks leading up to its release. So we ended up seeing both movies on back-to-back weekends. Then watching Return of the Jedi on opening weekend. I remember my mom and dad being so excited about the showing, because Billy Dee Williams was going to have an even bigger role in this episode. It was so crowded at the movie theater that I had to sit with my father and my sister had to sit with my mother in separate rows. Afterwards we talked about how much we loved the Ewoks and how cool Billy Dee was. Another great memory that I’ll treasure always.
So no, I haven’t actually seen the original trilogy in over 20 years, not just because I don’t believe in rewatching movies or rereading books anymore, but also because there’s something to be said for perfect movie memories. Why sully them with possible nostalgia-shattering rewatchings?
My mother didn’t live to see episodes I, II, and III. Some nerds would say that’s a good thing, but I can’t say for sure whether she would have liked them or not. Like many people whose parents die much earlier than expected, I didn’t quite realize how curious my mother was until she was gone. Now I have a lot of questions, like, “Hey, mom, why did you love sci-fi so much? Did you actually like all of these movies that you took us to see or were you just a cinephile?” And so on…
But anyway this is actually a Procrastinate on This! that went so long that I had to turn it into my daily blogumn. I was trying to explain why the below video made me both laugh and rather unexpectedly cry. I just wish they had let a mom participate. Hey, we moms love STAR WARS, too!