December 10th, 2015

My First Star Wars Experience

In 1977 when I was eight years old, my parents decided to take me to Washington D.C.

Part of this, I realize in retrospect, was because of my health. I'd been born several months premature and had a lot of medical problems as a result.

The biggest problem was seizures. Grand mal. I spent all of my early years on heavy medication for that and a lot of time in and out of the hospital, where I'd make friends, only to have them disappear, because, you know, they died.

Anyway, my parents were obviously trying to do something with me to make me not focus on the hospital bullshit (which must have been more scary for them than for me) so D.C. it was.

The problem was that other than the big T-Rex at the Smithsonian I did not really enjoy much of what we were doing. As far as I can tell I was being a dick.

This trip I'm sure was super expensive for my parents who were at the time a junior professor and a young journalist, so it must have been really frustrating that it just wasn't working out.

Then, I saw a poster for Star Wars. What you might  not know is that at the time Star Wars did a soft open. They released it in a few major cities a week or so before general release. So, my parents had no reason to have any idea this movie existed.

What they did know is that when I saw that poster I stopped being an asshole for a few minutes.

At the time I was obessed with Dracula. (Imagine a kid who spent a bunch of time in the hospital being attracted to a figure who could not die.)

When I saw that poster I looked at Darth and thought "I want to see Dracula in space!"

So, my parents took me to the one theater showing it - even though it meant standing in line for over two hours. (I'm told by them that I was insanely well behaved during that time, so it must have been a relief for them from me being a tantrum douchecanoe brat.)

I loved it. And I loved bragging to my friends about it when we got home that I had seen it before they did.

When The Empire Strikes Back and The Return Of  The Jedi came out, my dad pulled me out of school to see the first showings (which back then were at noon and not midnight.)

At the time I thought he was just being "cool dad."

As an adult, I think maybe he was just happy I was alive so he could take me to see them.

All of this is just a lead of for me wanting to say:


Thank you."