May the Fourth… You Know the Rest

It’s been 20 years since the release of (in my humble opinion) the worst of the Star Wars movies, Episode 1, The Phantom Menace. This is one of the few movies I can remember watching where I wanted to slap the kid who played the lead. Yes, little Anakin Skywalker was a whiny brat, which gives great insight into how he became Darth Vadar, who was not so whiny, but still a brat. But I digress. I love the Star Wars movies, especially Episodes 4-6, which were the first three of the series. I am not alone in my love of Star Wars. California has declared May 4th an official holiday.

I was going on 21-year-old when the first one was released. At that point in time, it was simply called Star Wars. I don’t recall ever thinking about a prequel, which was not really much of a thing back then. When The Empire Strikes Back came to the theaters in 1980 that created quite the buzz. It brought a new hope, if you will, for more Star Wars movies in the future (or from the past).

My kids don’t know life before Star Wars. They were totally into it. So much so that we had quite a collection of Star Wars paraphernalia. I recall after they were past playing with the various action figures and Lego sets, that I began the arduous task of cleaning out the bins full of forgotten toys.

I am sentimental over these things. I saved many items from my children’s childhood.  Many, many items. My pride and joy though is the collection of Star Wars Action figures that my son was willing to part with but I was not. I stashed them away. When Episode 3 was coming out, we still had two sons living at home and they had invited friends over to watch Episodes 1 and 2 before going to the movie.  If memory serves me, the guys would return to watch Episodes 4-6 thus making it the perfect Star Wars watching event.  I decided to pull out all the stops to decorate for the festivities.  I got out the action figures, vehicles, and micro-machines and arranged them all over the living room.  Our mantel was decorated with them as were the end tables and shelves.  I think Martha Stewart would have been proud of me.

I left the display out for a week or so because, let me tell you, you don’t go to all that trouble and quickly clear the shelves without an appropriate time to take in all the details.

The one detail that I did not consider was our small group from our church.  We met weekly at our house and, as God would have it, that week we were talking about idolatry.  Our group had a great time with the fact that I had practically made my house a shrine to Star Wars. (Even though I suspect they were quite jealous. Jealousy was not the topic of discussion that night.)

These memories are dear to me, especially because one of my sons did end up reclaiming all of those figures I stashed and wishing I had kept more. Those are the moments.

 

Peter Mayhew

Sadly, Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrayed Chewbacca, passed on April 30 at the age of 74. Photo Credit: Variety.com

 

May the Fourth be with you.

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4 Comments

  1. I remember Star Wars first showing very well. We were at a Pink Panther movie (I was in 6th grade) and the trailer for Star Wars ran. The whole theater was a-buzz. It was an awesome movie (at the time). It was the first movie I was aware of that had merchandising. T-shirts, toys. It was a big time for movies. Planet of the Apes was around then, too. It was the heyday of big-budget movies.

    Reply
    • Ah, yes. The monkey movies, as Bob called them. I never was interested in the early ones. I did see my first Bond film in the theaters circa 1972. Going to the movies was a big deal back then. I remember going to see Paint Your Wagon at the drive-in. That sure isn’t the Clint Eastwood we all came to know later.

      Reply
  2. Jeanine Byers

     /  May 7, 2019

    My son gave me the same blessing on the 4th, as he does every year! I totally understand keeping memory paraphernalia from childhood. I don’t have any of mine, except cute, little diaries, but I am glad that my son is hanging on to some of his. A Star Wars movie party sounds like fun.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Jeanine, for sharing. It was fun. I’m glad you at least have your diaries. As for your son, there’s no age limit on Star Wars paraphernalia.

      Reply

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