Yes, May 25th was Memorial Day. Yes, it was also Towel Day. But let’s not forget another, very special Geek-Event that took place on May 25th: the release of Star Wars: A New Hope (aka “the first one”) in the theaters. Let’s face it, there’s nothing that we could post here about the history of the franchise, the making of the movie, or its effects on pop-culture, that hasn’t been posted on a jillion other blogs. All That I can do I try to share with you my memories of the first installment of this ground-breaking series.I remember sitting in the theater with my best friend Daniel, waiting for it to come on screen for the umpteenth time, talking about it with each other, and another kid in the theater who couldn’t help but overhear and subsequently share the rumors that he’d heard from the fanclub that he’d joined. The rumors were shocking to say the least. Get this: Darth Vader is really Luke’s father! No. Way. Know what else? Beru and Owen were still alive.
I can’t remember all of the urban legends propogated that day, but I do remember that the only one to come true was that Darth was Luke’s father. Yeah, a bit of a let-down when watching “Empire Strikes Back“, but the fact that that was the best of the six kind of made up for it.
What else do I remember from the series? I grew up in kind of a bad neighborhood, so Luke’s vulnerability in the Mos Eisley Cantina really struck a chord. I was also into horror movies at the time, thanks to a local late-night TV show called “Creature Features“, so that scene presented quite an intersection of phobias. I remember thinking that Alec Guiness as Ben Kenobi seemed like the coolest teacher ever. I remember Leia’s kiss to Luke just before they swung across the chasm left by the retracted walkway on the Death Star.
I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that these are memories that were set looooooooooong before the revelations of Return of the Jedi. ‘Kay? Not my fault that the Skywalker family has more issues than tissues.
I remember she sheer awesomeness of space, the planets, and that long, long, long Star Destroyer as it pulled into view during Episode IV’s opening scene. All in all, I remember the fear, the excitement, and the wonder of that (chronologically) first episode that kept me coming back dozens of times — for that one movie alone — and all of the sequels and prequels no matter how awful Jar-Jar Binks and the Ewoks were.