The year was 1997, I was a mere boy of 7 years of age and I had no clue what my dad was about to get me into. We arrived at the movie theater down the street to watch a movie called “The Empire Strikes Back.” This was the time when computers emitted a cacophony of sounds during the boot-up process and the internet was not a common commodity in the house so I couldn’t just Google this movie I was about to watch. I went into this knowing absolutely nothing other than a title. We bought some popcorn, sat in our seats, and waited for the movie to begin. Darkness. The Fox fanfare begins. Lucasfilm centered on the screen. Silence. Some words come on screen so I read them out loud because 7 year old Michael couldn’t read in his head yet. Then with a loud boom, that to this day still makes my heart skip a beat, the opening crawl begins and the Star Wars theme song fills the theater. HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWESOME!! For the next 2 hours and 4 minutes, my eyes were glued to the screen and I was hooked. My life forever changed that day.
Flash forward 19 years and here we are, Episode VII is finally in digital release and will hit store shelves next week. Disney has marketed the life out of the beloved franchise and I couldn’t be more okay with it. From books to television, toys to board games, costumes to my favorite thing ever, First Order Storm Trooper onesies, Disney covered all the bases with this one and its glorious. Star Wars is a franchise that truly transcends both time and space. It has something for everyone to enjoy. There is adventure, self-discovery, love, thrill, and Darth Vader. From its initial release in May of 1977 to today, fans both young and old can sit down and have a debate about the serious matters in life such as who really shot first or was Jar Jar really that terrible? Simple matters, yes, but all the same ever so important in the grand scheme of things because we all know that Han really shot first and Jar Jar was truly responsible for the rise of the Empire when he decided to put forth a motion in the Senate to give the Chancellor emergency powers during the Clone Wars.
As most of you well know, I love Star Wars. I love Star Wars so much that I saw Episode VII in theaters 7 times. Within 24 hours of its release in theaters, I watched it 3 times. Yes, I have a problem but I am perfectly fine with it because I’m a nerd and that’s just what we do. Trust me, there are some people that watched it way more than I did. That just goes to show how much this franchise means to people. It brings people together and unites them under the giant nerd flag that is Star Wars.
Star Wars is a timeless franchise and will always have a special place in my heart. It will always be that thing that inspired me to do well in grade school so I could get awards and pick out any Star Wars toy I wanted. It will always be the thing Nicole will judge me for but that’s okay because she is secretly a Star Wars nerd as well. It will always mean so much to so many people. Star Wars will always be an adventure.