Yes, I’m a huge Star Wars Fan. Geek. Nerd. What have you. I’m not matchless, I don’t have a treasure trove of trivia and an encyclopedic hoard of minutiae nor do I have the entire Extended Universe (now defunct anyway) memorized. By almost any measures, I enjoy what most folks I know have come to despise – Episodes 1 through 3. Yes, there are many issues that armchair directors in this age of 140-character cynicism might be justified in espousing. And while there might be universal agreement that Jar Jar should be excised from human memory somehow, with that one exception, I enjoy the Episodes 1 through 3 as much as I do the original trilogy.
Unlike most of the world, I never got to see any of the original trilogy in the theater. Growing up overseas we had one theater that showed mostly Arabic and Hindi films and another drive-in that showed mostly Arabic and Hindi films. What Western films were shown were so chopped up by censor that the movie might as well have been a stroboscopic acid flashback.
My first experience with Star Wars was walking down to the local equivalent of the Blackmarket Bootleg Blockbluster, with mostly Hindi and Arabic movies on VHS and Betamax, and hunt and peck for the one or two Western movies that had been smuggled intact and spread like wildfire to every similar corner shop and souk.
From that first clackety-clack of the tape going in and the firm snik of the play button being depressed, John Williams Score and George Lucas’ scrolling start took me far, far away. I was hooked on Science Fiction and Big Dreams.
And that’s been the magic of Lucas across his decades of film making. He’s always told a good story. Other’s have picked up on it. Filled in some blanks. Created new stories in that world. I’ve lost track of how many books, graphic novels and comics have come out over the decades. Each one stood on his shoulders and weaved me away from the mundane and to that galaxy far, far away.
So when I read about grown men bursting into tears at the sight of a 72 year old Han Solo saying “Chewie, We’re Home” and Chewbacca growling in agreement – well, darn right I shed a few happy man tears. While a trailer’s not much to go on, it’s evident to me from that first scrolling shot and those clarion horns again – we’re about to go back to that galaxy, far, far away, that some of us found the solace in, joy in, peace in – and yes, even inspiration and Hope.