Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Date night in geek land

I'm ready.

I procured a babysitter for Friday night. (Can you procure your own mother?)

I've done my homework: we watched Episode I weekend before last, and rented Episode II this past weekend.

I've got gift certificates to cover the cost of admission and popcorn.

Hooray, I'm going to the movies!!!! (insert triumphant swelling of John Williams music here)

Not just any movie, I'm going to see Star Wars.

I love Star Wars, always have. I've read enough geek blogs lately about people's seminal Star Wars theatre experience to keep me from kicking that dead horse, but suffice to say Star Wars has been a motif that resonates regularly through my life, providing milestones by which I can chart my own growth.

I was seven when the first movie came out, and we saw the movie as a family with friends of my parents and their kids. For The Empire Strikes Back, I was 10 and old enough to be dropped off at the theatre myself. By the time Jedi came out, I was 13 and my 8 year old brother and I made our way to the theatre downtown on our own for a screening at 8:30 on a Saturday morning.

When VCRs came out in the 1980s, Star Wars was one of the first movies we rented, and as a bored and pre-car teenager I would regularly watch my pirated copy to kill time until Friday Night Videos came on.

I spent my childhood pining for a tousled blond Luke Skywalker to burst into my life to rescue me, then in my teen years realized the roguish Han Solo would be a lot more fun at a party. I never did have enough hair to make danishes on the side of my head, which in retrospect is probably a good thing.

When Episode I came out, we saw it in theatres the first weekend, and like most fans, were more than a little disappointed. I don't know how any movie could live up to the mythological expectations of a generation. It was only when we were watching the DVD for Episode II that I realized I had never even seen it. Somehow, it fell off my radar screen. It came out in 2002, which was the year Tristan was born, so I guess that's my only excuse. It was actually pretty good - much better than Episode I, in my humble opinion. (Übergeek, are you reading? Give it a try!)

I came across this little tidbit of Star Wars trivia recently that tickled me. Did you know that in every movie, someone utters the phrase, "I have a bad feeling about this." Since I've memorized every scrap of dialogue from the original movie over the years, I can clearly picture Han Solo saying it in Episode IV. Over the past two weekends, I caught it in Episodes I and II. I am just enough of a geek to not only anticipate "discovering" it in the new movie this weekend, but to haul out our copies of Empire and Jedi over the next few weeks to look for it there, too.

It's amazing to me to look back at my life and see these movies as the video equivalent of a soundtrack. I try to imagine what my seven year-old self would think of the woman I've become, a woman - a mother - who plans for three weeks to make a simple trip to the theatre but who hasn't lost her sense of giddy anticipation, who is willing to relinquish her adult self to the wonder of an epic tale for just a few hours.

I think she'd be proud.