For my second “Stories I Love” post, I want to celebrate the 43 year old movie franchise, Star Wars. Although I have my problems with some of the films, overall, it is a story I adore.
I was first introduced to Star Wars when I was six years old. My father, a movie buff, would always play the sixth film in the saga, Return of the Jedi. Though I hadn’t seen the previous two films (there were only three at the time), I was enthralled. Darth Vader and his ominous mask. The lightsabers. Han, Luke, and Leia. I grew more and more enchanted with George Lucas’ space opera the more I watched it.
It wasn’t the iconography that won me over, but the emotion and the characters. I will never forget witnessing the confrontation between Vader and Luke for the first, watching as one of the most famous villains in movie history saved his son and turned back to the Light Side of the Force.
Eventually, I watched A New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back. For years, these were my go to movies. I learned every line and could recite my favorite scenes by heart. I always believed, up until quite recently, that Star Wars was something truly special. It was different than every other blockbuster that came before and after it. Star Wars is about hope, love, redemption, and family; values that have made it a generational tale. Whenever I watch Star Wars, especially Return of the Jedi, I recall those moment from my childhood when I sat in front of the TV with my dad, the two of us building an unbreakable bond.
I have seen every Star Wars movie released in my lifetime. Some I enjoy, like The Last Jedi, and some I despise (here’s looking at you Rise of Skywalker). The things that made Star Wars special are being corrupted by an unhealthy dose of nostalgia and I sometimes wonder why I even bother with the series anymore. But then I watch Return of the Jedi and I fall in love all over again.
Star Wars will continue to change as the years go on. I may not be enthusiastic about the direction of the franchise, but I will always love the memories associated with the saga.