Bloggity blog blog: I am going to see a Star Wars

The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was Star Wars. It was the only movie I watched with my dad that I can remember. It was playing at a theater in Nashville on Vanderbilt campus and I vaguely remember it being advertised as a comedy on TV.

TL;DR – me and Star Wars, you can skip it, comment with your memories, or take great offense.

The year must have been sometime after 1977, because I don’t think that theater got first runs. Then again, might have been later in the year.

I saw Empire Strikes Back in the theater somewhere around Lake City / Knoxville in a theater on the top of a hill. I don’t remember thinking much of it because I was seriously annoyed at what I considered a non-ending as a kid.

By this time I was pretty hooked, even if I incorrectly thought that Empire was the worst of the two, and I had a collection of Star Wars toys I have no memory of playing with but I obviously did, all the time, based on photos and number.

I had one friend for a couple of years who I played with, but I only ever played Star Wars with that one kid who I can’t remember his name any more.

When I was a kid we rented a VCR and I watched Star Wars as one of the first movies I ever played. Man, renting a VCR, that dates me. I had to stand on a desk and bend over a TV that weighed more than me and detach the antenna and attach the VCR leads. It was a pain, but VCR rental was cheap and VCRs were very expensive.

I had an Atari 2600 and played the hell out of The Empire Strikes Back. Terrible game, but most of them were at that point.

I wore my mom out with Return of the Jedi. That same theater around Knoxville (where my grandma lived,) saw me in it weekly.

I think I read Splinter of the Mind’s eye after that. I was a bit late to the reading game because I had no idea they had books. And I disliked it. Eh, whatever. Reading’s for losers. I kid, I kid.

I remember cutting out comic strips from the newspaper. I think this was the only reason my mother got the paper for a while. I’d cut them out, tape them into a notebook, and every month I’d sit down and re-read the whole Star Wars 3-panel comic book I’d made. I don’t remember the timeframe on this but it was in there.

I was at a book store in 92 while working in a mall and spotted Heir to the Empire… decided to read it, bought Dark Force Rising after that, and waited for The Last Command. I read several of the other books in the expanded universe / legends now, and slowly trailed off as they were not my thing.

X-Wing came out, I played the hell out of that, TIE-Fighter came out and I mastered it. XW v TF came out and I … meh…

1999, I was living in NY, had had the worst breakup of my life a while back and was not doing particularly well. An internet friend took me out for my birthday to see the Phantom Menace. I was unsure walking away from that whether it was a bad movie or if I was just really really depressed and projecting on it.

People around me were clamoring for more wanting to know how it turned out… I said “that kid becomes Darth Vader, that’s how it turns out.” It seemed so odd that a different generation was wanting to see what lead up to the kid you care about in episode 1 becoming the nightmare of 4 with the ever so slight redemption of 6.

I was asked by friends how I could not be interested in that, and I asked how much of Hitler’s childhood did they know about? The prequels were not my thing, but that was ok. They were interesting to me.

Vader’s redemption… he decided to save his kids. It’s always made out to be redemption, but his motivations have been spelled out pretty much since Episode 2 – he wants to save what he considers his. Even his serving the Emperor was spelled out as him attempting to master the force enough to break through the walls of death itself (one of the many Vader comic series.) Even if it meant he became death itself.

I wondered how so many people thought the movies somehow had ruined their childhood. Not mine. My love of the thing started with 4 and went all the way into a couple of books and stopped when I hit jedi kids and force-resistant alien races (and Han Solo collapsing a civilization who learns how to use pants, although that was an earlier work evidently).

I played the hell out of Battlefront and a couple of other games (Dark Forces comes to mind,) and then Episode 7 came out.

Lead character sans parents: Check. Question as to who parents were: Check. Cute rambunctious droid on a desert planet managing to find the only force user: Check. X-Wings, Star Destroyers, Falcon: check.

Wasn’t quite my movie, but once again did not destroy my childhood. Mystery of parental origin, much like the original series, I didn’t care about.

That ending with her holding out the lightsaber to Luke I kept thinking about. I wasn’t surprised when Luke basically became Yoda in episode 8.

Rogue One came along, lacked Bothans, was an interesting story but I was watching and thinking the entire time that everyone was going to die or be 40 years older in the next movie, it’s a prequel, so why get particularly invested in these characters.

Solo came out, meh. It was fun. I just considered it as fun fan fic and moved on. Something about knowing the character survives without a scratch completely took away from it. Prequels man. Now we know Maul from Episode 1 is still alive and somehow didn’t manage to do anything that impacted the main movies by Episode 8.

I mean we might get something along the lines of if it hadn’t have been for Maul sneezing on Tatooine sometime around episode 5 then a worker wouldn’t have been startled and accidentally miss his flight to Bespin and didn’t get to retract that antenna that Luke falls on, or something like that…

Episode 9’s coming out tonight. I won’t be in line to see it, kids man. But tomorrow, assuming all goes as planned, I may be taking my six year old to the see last theater released Star Wars ever… this year. We’ll see. I expect there will be more, just hopefully not this bloodline requirement.

The force seems to have had no effect on my kids. I’ve tried to get them interested, but the original movies move too slowly, the prequels as well. Episode 7 & 8 I managed to get them to at least look at slightly but it’s not their thing.

I was asked while wearing one of my many star wars shirts (I have purchased one in my life, people keep buying them for me,) whether I was excited or not for “the end of the Skywalker saga.” I said nope, it ended when I was ten. I am however interested to see how Emo Solo and Rey’s story ends up.

Also should anyone remember former Pocketables author William Devereux, he moved on to a slightly better paying job at Microsoft and got a chance to see the movie a couple of days back and here’s his spoiler-free review.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts