The Force is With Me: Always
Updated: Apr 25, 2019
I sat, wide eyed, in the seat. I was so small it felt like a cushioned life raft. Popcorn to my left, mother to my right. But ahead?? Ahead of me I watched as Ewoks helped the Rebels fight villainy on the forest moon of Endor. At some point, maybe when Luke was using his light saber to slice and dice Speeder bikes, I wandered to the front part of the theater. I was trying to see if I could help the Rebels out. I thought that the movie was real, and it was taking place right behind that small wall that separated the old theater screens from the chairs in the front row. Frustrated, I made my way back to my nest and settled in again. Eager to see what came next. This is my earliest memory of watching movies. Some people may never know when the trilogy took over their life, but for me, it was in 1983, in a dusty theater. In the middle of an otherwise unremarkable afternoon.
What followed that day was an avalanche of requests for more. More backstory. More mythos. More toys. More knowledge… more.. POWER!!! UNLIMITED POW…..er… sorry I got a little off track. But I digress, I was hooked. Like became want. Want became need. I collected anything I could get my hands on. From comics to Pez dispensers to toilet paper. I had a Han vest. I had a Luke Skywalker Halloween costume. The old school ones with the plastic mask that had the death rubber band primed to go off at any moment and snap your will to live. I wore that mask until I started to look like Mike Meyers. Horror version not Waynes World.
As I got older, I found new obsessions: Transformers, the NES, comic books, girls that did not look like Leia Organa (perish the thought) But I always found time for my old friends from the past.
Let’s fast forward a bit. My best friend Jeff Horn and I pay money to go see Meet Joe Black on November 17th 1998. This ticket purchase allows us the opportunity to see the new trailer for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace!!!!!!!!!!!!! Twice!!!! They played it before AND after!!!! May 13th 1999 we would have the first Star Wars movie in 16 years!!! I wept. I got goose bumps. Jeff and I high fived. A lot. During that span from first trailer until the week before opening night I re watched the Trilogy 25 to 30 times. In surround sound. On VHS. On DVD. Everywhere I could. In all formats. I won’t go into detail about my thoughts after I watched the movie or the 2 following films. That’s for another article. This is for what happened recently.
I mention all this because a new trailer has dropped for the Star Wars franchise. It’s the last of the saga, if you will. And if it is any indication, it’s going to wrap up the last 36 years of my life with it. The teaser is epic. The score builds as the gorgeous scenery unfolds itself. We see our heroine, Rey, activate a clear Light saber. A sand speeder approaches her menacingly. She pivots and executes a back flip. I see Lando. I see Leia. I see the Death star wreckage on Endor possibly? I hear the Emperors laugh. And I’m 6 years old. Helpless in my feelings. Lost in that universe. Again. Stuck in the doorway between 2 hotel rooms in my heart. One is filled with the nostalgia of my past and the other is full of hope for what is next. I thought the newer movies had killed my joy for the Star-killer. I thought Last Jedi might have wasted Lukes’ death on cheap theatrics. I thought that part of me that longed for the Force was gone. I was wrong. 2 minutes of beauty has reminded me, as it should remind us all, that the force is with us. The force has been with us: Always.