My STAR WARS experiences.
Grade 5 art class. We go in to the library, the TV was set up on the stand with the VHS player ready to go, the teacher slides the VHS in to the player, the lights go out and it goes quiet as the words start to scroll down the screen. STAR WARS. A movie made in 1977 felt so new to me in 1997. My teacher wanted to show us the costume design in the movie especially the scene in the bar. I was mesmerized as I watched for the first time. Each class after we got to watch until the trilogy was completed. This changed my life forever in ways I can’t even explain.
It was the summer of 1999, the movie had already been in theatres for over 2 months, we were in the city and my mom dropped us boys off at the theatre to catch a matinee of Episode I The Phantom Menace. Now, I was 12 years old at the time, so I was still young enough to appreciate the pod racing and new characters that came along such as Jar Jar Binks but it was the experience of seeing my first Star Wars movie on the big screen that really captured me. Being a matinee screening and in a small city it was just me and my two brothers and another kid with his dad. We had the whole theatre to ourselves, I thought it was awesome. I ordered a popcorn and a drink and being the cool 12 year old kid I thought I was, I chatted up the girls working in concession and I remember them having fun by throwing ice at each other, I laughed and thought they were cute. After the movie the girls asked me how I liked it, at the time I think I said something like it was the best movie I had ever seen! Ha ha, after this I was one of those kids with a Star Wars poster on my bedroom door.
In the year 2000 was when our family upgraded to a computer with the internet. I remember searching Star Wars and finding out that the next title was going to be “Attack of the Clones”. In 2002, I didn’t watch this one on the big screen but remember my older brother buying it on VHS. This one was my favourite of the prequal trilogy.
May 19th 2005. It’s May long weekend, it was nearly the end of the school year, we were about to graduate and we thought what the heck, lets skip last class so we can get to the city early buy our tickets and ensure we get good seats. As we are cruising in to the city we get pulled over and the officer asks us how fast we were going, my friend was driving and without hesitation was honest when he said 140km/hr. The officer then asked if we had been drinking and if we were on our way out to the lake. I remember clear as day when my friend said, “Nope, we’re going to see Star Wars!”
In film school I had a film studies class and the first film we took a look at was, you guessed it Empire Strikes Back. Which happens to be my favourite of the trilogy.
Since I started working in film in 2007, without a word of a lie, I’ve seen someone wearing a Star Wars t-shirt on every single film set I‘ve been on. George Lucas captured the eyes and minds of generations.
I don’t care what “The People vs George Lucas” had to say about you George, you are right on!
Dec. 18th 2015, I met up with my best friends and more than 10 years later we watched Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens.
JJ, I appreciate what you did! You’re next, Rian Johnson…