Today is my daughter Dee’s birthday. Happy birthday, Dee! (How good we could celebrate it with her when she came for a visit a couple of weeks ago.)
With a new Star Wars movie due this December, it somehow seems appropriate to reminisce about the original Star Wars movie. Thirty-eight years ago, Dee attended that first Star Wars movie when it came to the Bangor area in either July or August—here my memory fails me—and I was either seven or eight months pregnant with her.
Readers, I have a confession to make. I was not eager to see Star Wars. I was hot, cranky, large, and uncomfortable. There would be a long line, I knew, and I did not want to stand in it. But Clif and a friend worked on me until I agreed to go. At the cinema, standing in that long line, I was so amazed by the crowd and the excitement that I forgot to be cranky.
The cinema, of course, was absolutely packed, and with the opening crawl of the text, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” combined with John William’s grand music, I was completely transfixed. I knew I was in once-upon-a-time territory, one of my favorite places to be. (I like to note that I was born in County Tolkien.) Then came the zooming of the spaceships, and I felt as though a current was going through my body. This sort of experience—this jolt—only happens every so often to me, when I am incredibly moved by a painting, some music, a book, or a movie.
Did that jolt affect Dee? Who can say? But she loves paintings, books, music, and, especially, movies. (Dee is a true cinephile and makes me look like a piker.) When she was in fourth grade or so, she became an ardent fan of Doctor Who, and one year for Halloween Dee dressed up as the fourth doctor played by the inimitable Tom Baker.
We bought Dee a curly wig, found a long scarf and sports coat, and voilà, we had a pretty good mini Doctor Who.
It would be fitting if Dee’s favorite Star Wars movie were that first one we saw in 1977. Instead, she prefers The Empire Strikes Back, which seems to be a favorite with many of her generation. Life is like that—it does not always conform to perfect symmetry.
Anyway, a very happy birthday to Dee. May the force be with you now and always.