Up until a few weeks ago, I had never seen Star Wars. None of them. I’d caught glimpses of Ewoks cute-ifying the forest and Jabba jabba-ing in his hut, but I had never actually sat down to watch the original trilogy. I didn’t think much of this apparent character flaw, but through endless chiding from every living person on the face of the entire planet, I’ve learned that it’s an abomination akin to bashing The Beatles or decrying the pope. And we can’t have that, so my co-workers arranged a watch party, and made me host it so I wouldn’t skip. Dressed in a fox onesie (is that Star Wars-y?), I buckled down to see seven hours of the space opera that saved America or whatever.
Even as a traitor to humanity, it’s impossible to exist for 30 years and not learn the cast of characters, but now I know generally what they’re about: Luke’s a geek, Leia’s a tart, Jabba likes to party and Vader’s just a dad having a midlife crisis in space, which sucks ’cause there are no Corvettes. Also: Yoda is my dream dog.
Hosting the party was a flawed concept, however, and I spent much of A New Hope greeting friends and missed the scene where the old guy lays it all out for Luke. Luckily I was familiar enough with the force, the father, blah, blah, so I was still able to follow, but it wasn’t really my jam. I know the special effects were groundbreaking in 1977, but we have Avatar now, and the story was too somber to win a place in my heart.
The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, though, I get. They’re surprisingly more modern for being made only a few years later. Empire made me wish for an alien bar on the Strip, and Jedi was fast-paced and fun, the kind of lighthearted action I can get behind.
Mind you, I’m a person who enjoys Maid in Manhattan; I do not purport to have good taste in movies. I can let you in on the raddest restaurant in Chinatown or recommend a good book, but ask me about movies and you’ll get Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit … on VHS. That said, I’m glad to finally join the club, glad to get the jokes, glad the hazing is over, and glad that the melted Darth Vader mask in The Force Awakens trailer finally makes sense.
Seeing these movies didn’t suddenly transform me into a cinephile, but I am glad to have finally watched the video version of the Bible, because it was cute and nice and fine, and now all you Star Wars extremists can leave me alone.