Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Set blasters to "awww"


Lately Zack has been asking for Star Wars, as in literally saying "I want Star Wars" even though he doesn't know exactly what that means. He's too little to watch any of the movies, but he's thrown the title around for more than a year, because he sees his classmates wearing t-shirts and shoes with Star Wars stuff on them. I think the recent interest stems from seeing commercials for the next episode of Clone Wars while he's watching another Cartoon Network show called Ninjago (which is a whole story in itself).

We bought him a pair of toy lightsabers the other day, because he had fun bonking them together with his friend Geneva, who is eight. I really thought he'd like to see some "real" lightsabers in action, because the sound they make is so key to the experience. Of course I've always wanted him to experience Star Wars the way I did, with Star Wars (aka Ep IV) first. I decided to park him on my lap and pop in the dvd, just to jump around to the various lightsaber scenes without actually watching Obi-Wan get killed.

Naturally, if I want to manage his intro to Star Wars, he needed to see the opening. It's all about the opening. So there he is in my lap, and the blue words appear: "A long time ago..." I started to read them for him, and... and I choked up. I was so excited for him and his future loving these movies, I just got too misty to speak.

We watched the opening but I stopped it before any Rebels got shot. Then I hopped around to Luke getting his dad's lightsaber, practicing with the remote laser ball, and the first segment of the Darth/Obi-Wan fight. He's requested it a couple of times since. I can't wait to show him the rest of it.

Side story: This experience brought a fond JPX memory to the fore: JPX and I saw Star Wars together for what I think was my fifth time. He and I didn't really start hanging out together until 4th grade so this would've been fall of '78 (remember back when Star Wars was at Showcase for more than a year?) It was the first time I'd really noticed in the opening shot how frickin' huge the Star Destroyer was, because the damn thing just keeps on going. I leaned over to say something about it to JPX and before I spoke he said "It's so big!"

It remains one of my most memorable viewings of Star Wars, along with seeing the first time sitting next to my mom (from which sprang my long love of Dewback puppets) and watching the Special Edition Death Star Battle with Jordan in 1997 (along with our friends Sam and Mindy, with whom we formed a short-lived club around seeing the Special Editions on their opening nights). At another point watching it with young JPX, we both simultaneously got excited about the wacky white droid on the right, seen above.

Good times. The best, really, and in an indirect way responsible for this whole blog and everything we do here.

Cheers, fellow nerds.

9 comments:

Octopunk said...

I pulled these screenshots from Jordan's excellent restoration of Star Wars. Using his editing and FX chops, he took the visually restored recent iteration of the movie and then lopped off most of the offending CGI. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't even watched it in full, but what I've seen is great. The title screen is a montage of three classic posters.

JPX said...

It’s terrible; Benjamin’s Star Wars experience was completely done the wrong way. When he was younger he would catch pieces of the Star Wars films on TV and eventually watched them all out of order. Now he’s 12 and he watches The Clone Wars every week. I’m so disappointed in him.

I want to see Jordan's restoration!

Jordan said...

I'm so happy...I'm so happy...

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Awww indeed. This heartwarming post cushioned the blow of Davey's death.

Hopefully one day Zack will watch Empire before it's spoiled that Vader is Luke's father so his mind can be properly blown.

Jordan said...

Have you seen that YouTube video some dad made, of his kid watching the end of Empire? It's so awesome. The kid's on the couch watching the movie (which you can hear in the background: "Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father." "He told me enough!" etc.) Meanwhile Dad's zooming in on the kid's face...and when the bombshell hits, the little boy's mouth does a perfect little "O" of total mind-blowing shock and surprise and amazement. Very satisfying.

I agree with all the sentiments about passing Star Wars down generationally. It's just wonderful.

DCD said...

Big time awwwww. Jake's experience has been all over the map - I don't think he got the right vibe either, JPX. And yeah, he knows more about Clone Wars then the rest, which is a drag.

JPX said...

Octo, Do you remember that we saw Star Wars on my 9th or 10th birthday party after it returned to the theaters? I remember that we were excited because the theater gave out Kenner toy catalogues.

Octopunk said...

That's probably the time I'm recalling in my story; the timing makes sense.

Crystal Math said...

This was such a heartwarming post, Octo! I'll throw in my own respective "aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" :-)