Star Wars Memories
Well, since this is the gravy train to ride, I’ll hop aboard. My first experience with the movie “Star Wars” was a few months before the release of “Star Wars IV: A New Hope,” better known as the first “Star Wars” movie.
I was at the movie theater with my dad and the trailers came up. And one was for this sci-fi picture “Star Wars.” They showed space ships and space battles and aliens but one scene was shown and I totally misunderstood it and it really colored my opinion of the movie leading up to the release date.
Now, the scene they showed was the part where Luke has taken his new droids (CP30 and R2D2) to the shed to clean them. The trailer showed CP30 introducing himself, “I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations. And this is my counterpart R2D2.”
Okay, here, you have to understand, it’s a trailer. We haven’t seen these character ever before. After CP30 says, “And this is my counterpart R2D2” we cut to Luke working on a some kind of machine robot and he says, “Hello.” So now I’m thinking, “Oh, the human is R2D2. This is one of those ‘deep’ sci-fi movies where the humans are the property of the robots.” It was the 1970s, this is the kind of stuff Hollywood came up with.
So I totally misunderstood the trailer. Saw the movie and loved it and got who R2D2 was…but…I was ticked off at the ending. The end of the 70s was an interesting time in cinema. The old ideas of good defeating evil and happy endings were shoved aside. The anti-hero was big. Endings were morally ambiguous. Films like “The Godfather,” “Chinatown,” even “The Omen,” had the “bad guys” winning, or undefeated, or escaping. I didn’t notice the sea change that was about to happen. I was angry over the end of “Star Wars.” Darth Vader escaped. For some odd reason, he decided to get off the Death Star and fly into battle himself. His ship gets hit and he spins off into space, unharmed. He survived. Sure, the Death Star gets destroyed, but evil Darth Vader gets to live another day. Even Frankenstein died at the end of every movie.
In retrospect, I understand now. Everyone was living to fight another day. It was the dawn of the trilogy. One movie that has to stand on its own, plot-wise, yet leave the door open for a second movie that won’t.
But I loved the movie. Ran out and bought the soundtrack album (with a poster included), which is still tucked away somewhere, with the chewed off corner where the dog got it. I dutifully saw each episode. And every version televised since.
So, yes, I’ll be seeing the new movie, fingers crossed that it’ll be magic and the force lingers on.
(Oh, BTW, fans who crashed the movie ticket sites…you know it’s a movie and not some “one time only” thing, right? It’ll be in the theater the next day and the day after that.)