It’s been a fair month since I blogged last. NaNoWriMo overwhelmed me (I still have some final words to share on that front: like many things in the present, they’re presently forthcoming) and I started a new medication in November that knocked me out entirely. I held onto the end of my first semester in grad school by a thread, and I’ve been using the time since for some much-needed recovery.
No, “recovery” is a bad word. There was nothing to recover from, but I needed to relax.
I had a pendulum of posts swinging through my mind this whole time, but they came and went and I rose and slept and nothing came to fruition. But hardly more than a week ago I pulled up outside a theater with my friend for Star Wars VII and that has been a moment that has stayed with me more than anything.
Don’t worry, there’ll be no spoilers here, but maybe something deeper.
I have never been a bigger fan of Star Wars until last Thursday, or practically Friday by the time the movie reel ended. I sat mesmerized by the on-screen mechanics, the subtle allusions, the deep inspirations, the screaming Easter eggs to other media.
And I was amazed. I was energized like a freshly-minted lightsaber charged by the Force and wielded for the first time.
Truth be told, I’m late to the fandom. I read a couple Star Wars books as a kid, but I never saw the movies until this past summer in preparation of episode seven. I had watched Episodes I, II, and III hit theaters as a kid, but my family was never in the upper tiers of the economy and going to the movies was a rare treat, and usually unless the entire family wanted to see it, we stayed at home.
And when a movie hit home theaters, unless it was something we all unanimously wanted to see, we didn’t rent it either. So because the whole family was never on board with the Millennium Falcon, we never went pod-racing in the living room.
That didn’t keep me from catching almost the entirety of the original trilogy on TV with my dad as I grew up, but I never saw them from beginning to end, and the story lacked continuity: there was that scene with the giant slug and that scene with the walls closing in and that scene–THE scene–when Luke brings down the Death Star.
Sorry, is that still a spoiler?
Anyways, I couldn’t be kept from getting the LEGO sets–or at least a few of them. There were always more than I could ever account for, and I remember staying up late with tears when some of my favorite series were discontinued before I could get them all. The days of my youth: endless construction and perpetual obstruction.
I wonder what would’ve happened if I had seen all these movies when I was 12 rather than when I turned 26. What would I have been if my family had taken me to see the Phantom Menace rather than (or in addition to) the Goblet of Fire? Would I have been more prone to sci-fi than fantasy? Would I have reached for the stars before I reached for a broom, unleashed a lightsaber before I drew my wand?
It’s a bygone era, questions that could never be answered. I see the glimpses of the stars anyways, they bleed through my poetry, were a backdrop for my NaNo novel this year, always a level playing field in the mythologies growing inside me: the first book is a literal star wars, the sentient spirits of space making earth their final battlefront.
I like to bookmark stories I’m going to read to my kids, books like Harry Potter or the Thief of Always and Roverandum, but there’s a mix of motion pictures, too, like Avatar: The Last Airbender, FernGully, and every Disney movie, set aside for them.
And now there’s Star Wars.
I guess there’s always been Star Wars: It was a story of my youth, regardless if I had already become a man before being indoctrinated by the Force. My friends in Hebrew school had seen it, played it, brought it back to our playground games–of course it left an impression, an indentation in my mind. A little crater, waiting for the comet to crash.
Someday my daughters and sons will sit back with me and my husband, we’ll load the movies and set the lights low. The space opera of the century will scroll up the screen with its yellow words and we’ll read them because the kids won’t be fast enough readers yet, and we’ll settle in for a story set long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away….
May the Force be with you.