twins daily at 2:22 pm (while we're in Gemini)
Like most people of my generation I grew up with the Star Wars franchise (1977-1983. It ends there, right?) as the single most defining pop culture event of youth. I did not, however, feel any particular need to have it as a continuing Force (heh) in my life, afterwards. By the time I was a teenager I had already moved on to the collected works of dramatic actresses as The Single Most Satisfying Form of Entertainment. So I'm kind of amazed still that in any given month on the internet you can find dozens of new articles or tumblr items or deviant art sketches or nsfw riffs or ANYTHING at all about the franchise. It just doesn't stop... even after George Lucas tried to kill it cluttering up the beautifully sparse frames of the originals with merciless revisionism and CGI accessorizing.
Yet despite my lack of continued love for the franchise to end all franchises (or, more accurately, the franchise to start all franchises -- that's all we get now!) I will admit that Luke & Leia still have a very special place in my adult heart.
I don't actually remember seeing Star Wars in the movie theater (though I know my parents took us because my brother's remember it) but I do have very distinct memories of seeing Empire Strikes Back (1980). We were late to the theater (this was always my mom's fault. sorry mom!) and arrived just as Luke was being shoved inside a dead beast. I even drew a comic about it several years ago in a series on summer movies, indicating that it's just about my only memory of 1980.
Other vivid Luke & Leia moviegoing memories...
- EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (the cartoon above plus...)
- Leia's sad dramatically lit face while Han Solo sank into his carbonite freeze.
- "Luke I am your father"
- Luke all sweaty on Dagobah with Yoda as living backpack.
- RETURN OF THE JEDI
- "Somehow I've always known"... then why were you kissing last time, Leia!!!???
- The anticipation about Leia's hairdos... what shapes would the braids make this time? (I was obsessed with braids as my big sister had long hair (often braided) and I worshipped her.)
- Wondering if I'd be able to see changes in Mark Hammill's face, a face to which I was quite attached. (He had a car accident right after filming Star Wars with some reconstructive surgery but for whatever reason I wasn't cognizant of this until Return of the Jedi came out and I think I misunderstood and thought it had just happened. I kept thinking "Yes, yes, it IS different!".
- Leia's weirdly catatonic line readings which suddenly made sense to me later as a teenager while reading Carrie Fisher's first novel "Postcard from The Edge" (yes, I read every subsequent book she wrote). Now I can LOL but at the time I was like "Why is Carrie Fisher suddenly a bad actress?"
- My Return of the Jedi ticket so shredded in my hands while waiting in the impossibly long lines that I was worried the ticket taker wouldn't let me in and everyone BUT me would see it.
- The cheering that followed with the introductory shots of each main character.
- One of my girlfriends going on and on about how cute Mark Hamill's butt was after leaving Return of the Jedi. I was scandalized. 'NO, I DID NOT NOTICE!' went my (retroactively imagined?) paranoid protest but I do remember loving the the new black costume.
- My bedroom wall plastered with Return of the Jedi stills and posters (with the gold bikini and the Ewoks -- I'm so ashamed! -- featured most prominently)
When did you first see the Star Wars movie? If so what's your most vivid childhood memory from any of them?