Do you remember where you were when those words first crawled across the screen? I was a very young child, but I remember it well. At six years old, Star Wars is probably the first movie I can remember.
I’ve written before about my love for Carrie Fisher and for Princess/Senator/General Leia Organa, which has only grown since her death. My love extends beyond her, of course. I grew up watching the original trilogy come to life on the screen. I’ve stood in those lines, though I never camped out for tickets.
I’ve gone to opening night shows, the ones that would start at 11:59pm…and called in sick the following day, or tried to crawl through the day on two hours of sleep.
I remember falling in love with Han Solo, while all my friends pined for Luke. There were long discussions about the physics of lightsabers and whether or not you could hear explosions in space.
Of course, everyone panned the prequels, though they followed the Star Wars formula with big space battles and large explosions, the comic relief was too comical and some of the casting choices were not great. I won’t go into the way they made Padme mere window dressing after giving us a glimpse of her badassery.
But, then along came The Force Awakens, where we came back to familiar faces and new ones that seemed well suited to the Star Wars universe. I can only imagine that there are millions of stories that could exist in that universe, so many characters we have yet to see.
In Rey we got to see those things we saw in Leia. We get a scared girl who won’t let fate drive her, and when the time comes, she grabs on and runs with it, even though it terrifies her. I know that there are a lot of theories and what not out there, about Rey and her parentage, her background. I’ve avoided them all, because I have my own ideas and I’m hesitantly trusting the powers that be that the reveal of those things won’t suck.
Then, we got Jyn Erso in Rogue One. We got SO MUCH amazing in Rogue One, but for me, Jyn was the character I wanted to write if I wrote in that world. She was smart and she was capable, she took care of herself and she didn’t want to join the rebellion, she just wanted to live her life. But when it came to it, she came through.
For millions of little girls, they suddenly had scifi heroines to look up to the way my generation had Leia, maybe even more so. I only hope they can continue to carry the story forward without marginalizing Rey the way they did Padme.
And yes, of course I already have my tickets for The Last Jedi. I’ll be at the first showing at my local theater, at 6pm on Thursday. I treated myself to their “fan experience” showing with it’s extras because I am a proper geek. I won’t be cosplaying, but I will likely be in one of my many, many Star Wars T-shirts.
And I’ll have a box of kleenex, because no matter how they handle Leia’s story line, I’m going to bawl.
Happy Monday, Readers. Happy Star wars week. I hope it treats you well.