Since today is such a momentous day, I figured I would share it with a friend of mine and fellow Star Wars nerd, Jeffers Haile (He’s the one dressed as Anakin, not C3P0). Take it away, big guy.
Did you ever have that one thing in your childhood that just made you feel pure excitement and joy? Something that transported you to a different world, something that made you feel like anything was possible. For me that was and still is Star Wars. When you grow up loving something, you can always remember that first experience, the first movie and the way it made you feel, the impact it made and the impression it left on you. Problem is I don’t remember that moment, in fact, I don’t even remember which movie I saw first.
I am actually borderline happy and relieved I don’t remember how I felt about my first Star Wars movie. Reason being, I love Star Wars, as far back as I can remember I have loved Star Wars and the great thing is, I don’t have compare any future experiences to a defining first moment. I think it is all too common that we hold onto our first viewing or experience of something and we impossibly compare it to everything related to it in the future. Don’t believe me? That’s okay, to prove my point you can simply look to the most recent Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. Granted I really enjoyed that movie, but do you know what I heard most about that movie when people complimented it? “It reminded me of the old movies.” In fact J.J. Abrams said multiple times they were going to try and make it feel more like the old trilogy. Part of their way of doing that was with the special effects, many little references, one liners, and general story lines that referred back to the original trilogy and tied in with The Force Awakens. For the record, I’m not complaining about these additions, I am simply making a point, that sometimes we compare or build things up with vague or even clear memories from our childhoods. Most of the time the things we compare these memories to stand no chance of meeting, let alone exceeding our expectations.
One of my favorite Star Wars movie experiences was skipping a day of high school when I was 15 with my two best friends. We lived in a small town in Washington State, the biggest thing it had was a diner and a small grocery store. We had to take a ride on the city transit to the nearest actual city if we wanted to have any kind of real Star Wars experience. A twenty minute bus ride later and we were transported to our fantastic day of pure Star Wars bliss (with full consent from our awesome parents of course, you can’t hold your kids back from these moments folks). After buying overpriced concessions and most likely sneaking in candy, we waited in full anticipation for the last Star Wars movie of the prequel. That’s right, Revenge of the Sith is part of one of my most memorable Star Wars moments of my life (cue fanboy outrage). To be honest Revenge of the Sith is actually one of my favorite Star Wars movies. I know what most of you are thinking…”Either, wow this guy calls himself a fan?” Or, “Let’s kick his ass.” Both are valid thoughts to be running through your minds. The debate on why I like Revenge of the Sith as a Star Wars movie is an argument for another time and place, besides hear me out on this one. This was a day that I got to spend with my two best friends, both of which I am still best friends with to this day. The memory sticks in my mind because it occurred before life got complicated, before real relationships, preparing for college, getting married, having kids, simply put, before life happened. Before all that a memory was made, one where it was just us, watching one of our favorite franchises (which we thought at the time, would be it’s last movie ever made) and truly being kids for one more day. For those two hours we were engulfed into a different world together, three best friends making a memory that would last a lifetime. I don’t care what my actual first Star Wars movie viewing experience was, to be honest it doesn’t matter to me. I have this memory. The one where we skip school, have a lot of laughs together, and get to reminisce about what happened afterwards. Of course I thought the movie was good, I still stand by that, however it was the experience and the company, that made the memory stand the test of time.
I think we put a lot of pressure on our experiences when comparing them to similar ones of our past. Sometimes we forget why we loved certain things to begin with, we always compare them to that first memory that we inadvertently put on a pedestal. We usually forget that rarely were these special memories and moments of franchises or movies spent alone. It’s not always about what we are watching, but who were with when we are enjoying them. The digital release of the Force Awakens has arrived and I implore you to watch it with someone you care about. Things like Star Wars weren’t meant to be watched alone. They were meant to be shared and made into everlasting memories.
My name is Jeffers Haile I am an avid lover of all things Star Wars (duh), soccer, working out, and video games. If you enjoyed my writing on Michael’s blog and would like to read more of my work, please visit my own blog which is about the entertaining ups and downs of dating a nurse (who just so happens to be my girlfriend). hailejeffersblog.com