A little girl was born in 1988. She went through her childhood and good chunk of her early adult life never having seen a single Star Wars movie. Sure, she knew all about it… Vader is Luke’s father (oh, um, spoilers?), The Dark Side, Han Solo (young Harrison Ford… *dreamy sigh*), Chewbacca, R2…etc. and even a bit about the prequels. She had heard the name ‘Jar Jar Binks’ thrown around quite a lot, and knew that many Star Wars enthusiasts were not fans of this character.
She had watched and enjoyed Star Trek (TNG) because her father before her had been a massive fan. Although, she would hardly consider herself ‘nerdy’, not that she saw anything wrong with that, it just wasn’t her style…up until early 2009. Good friends of hers (and roommates at the time) constantly talked about a ‘Doctor’ and what the ‘Doctor’ was up to. It piqued her curiosity and she had decided to ask about this Doctor person, feeling left out of the discussion that seemed to be taking place almost daily.
She was handed a thumb drive with the first (relaunch/2005) season of the British TV show Doctor Who. Doctor Who was quite foreign to her (literally and figuratively) because she had never heard of this show, even though it had been around since 1963. However, in 2009, Doctor Who wasn’t in the spotlight like it is today. Now, you can’t walk into a Hot Topic or Barnes & Noble without seeing a plethora of Doctor Who merchandise. So, it wasn’t odd that she had not heard of this wonderful show.
She ripped through the four seasons in what seemed like a flash, and thus opened up the gates into nerd-dom. She had attended her first comic convention, cosplayed, opened up her interests to shows she would have never taken interest in before, even started reading comic books! This was a whole new world for her. She thoroughly enjoyed almost everything in the ‘geek world’. Everything, that is, except for one Executor-Class sized thing at the heart of geek culture: Star Wars.
For years, friends would try and try to sit the girl down to watch the one thing everyone on this planet has seen. It’s not that the girl hated Star Wars, she just wasn’t interested in dedicating her time into something so popular and what seemed overrated to her. She knew the story, so she felt like that was enough. At one point she even did start to watch, but was surrounded by many distractions (alcohol, lots of friends joking and laughing), not to mention Episodes IV, V & VI were being shown to her all in one night. Her attention was everywhere but the television screen.
For three more years, she still didn’t care much for Star Wars.
It wasn’t until she was shown it the proper way. At least as close to proper as she could. A movie projector and a very large screen. No distractions. No drinking. One movie per night. First was A New Hope, naturally. “Yes I remember this scene,” she thought as a hologram of Princess Leia appeared. “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!” Ah, yes, she remembered that line as well. Something felt different watching it this time though. Was it the big screen to give the effect that she was in a movie theater watching it for the first time? Was it because she was actually ready to join the Star Wars world and allow herself to become a Padawan? Who knows? Either way, she started to look at Star Wars in an entirely different light. Perhaps she was living on the dark side for a majority of her life.
Content with viewing A New Hope, she couldn’t wait to watch Empire Strikes Back the next night, but didn’t want to appear too eager. This was still very new for the girl. Again, there were quite a few scenes that she had recognized and could tell what was going to happen, but it felt more exciting to watch it happen. Every time R2 screamed, or C3P0 said, ‘Oh Dear’, she couldn’t help but laugh out loud and feel as if she were a child watching this for the very first time. “Oh, this is the one where Darth Vader tells Luke that he’s his father!” the girl exclaimed. She had heard the line thousands of times growing up. Whether it was friends or random people quoting it, parodies, or even the actual scene from the movie. It’s not at all surprising, but why does it still feel different watching him say it now? Again, she went to bed very happy, and couldn’t wait to watching Return of the Jedi the very next night.
Return of the Jedi. This movie out of the three definitely had the most heart. Funny, suspenseful, and in the end, heartbreaking. The reunion between Chewie & Han
Solo was enough to make her misty eyed, but then you add in Yoda’s death, and Luke’s bittersweet ending with his father. She knew Darth Vader would save his son’s life, but as Darth Sidious was taking Luke’s life away, she wanted to scream at the movie, “DO SOMETHING!!!” Whoa, did she just get that emotional over a scene she knew what coming? Something is definitely different here.
What a rollercoaster that was for someone who claimed to not care much about Star Wars. She was now full-blown in love with the franchise.
Ah, the prequels.
She knew many people had a distaste for the Star Wars prequels, but being on such a Star Wars high, she had to see them. Episode I: The Phantom Menace. She knew more about the original movies just because of how iconic they were, however, she did know a few spoilers from the prequels: Padmé (at the time, “Natalie Portman’s character”) and Anakin hooked up, and she would give birth to Luke and Leia. That was about it.
This isn’t too bad she thought. OH GOD WHAT IS THAT THING GET IT OFF OF THE SCREEN NOW! Anyone who has seen the prequels knows what is going on here: Jar Jar Binks. She had heard the name throughout the years and knew the Star Wars fandom hated this character, but she didn’t expect him to be THIS bad. If this character said 2 words per movie, it would still be too much. Unfortunately, Jar Jar Binks opened his annoying mouth for 75% of the movie. To be honest, the movie wouldn’t be so bad if that character got cut. She was glad she watched The Phantom Menace, but that may be her only viewing of that movie… for a long, long time.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones. This one was already immediately better because there was a severe lack of Jar Jar airtime. She was finally able to focus on the story and the characters without wanting to jump off of a building every 5 minutes. She remembered her friend Janice was in love with that guy in these movies… what was his name? Ewan McGregor.. that’s it. Oh, look there he is. She snapped a picture and sent it over to Janice. “He’s not a bad looking guy” She thought. Out loud, however, she remarked to her boyfriend, “He plays Obi-Wan really well!” (which he does). All in all, the movie wasn’t bad, or at least not as bad as everyone made it out to be. She knew that fans waited over a decade, so it’s understandable that they felt wronged by the prequels. It definitely did not have the same feel as the first three… well, last three (the originals) movies. There seemed to be a lot more heart & soul poured into those films, and you really connect with those characters more so than the prequels. However, being that she watched all of the films in the same week, she wasn’t as bothered (with the exception of Mr. Binks).
Lastly, Revenge of the Sith. She didn’t think it was that bad, especially since we see Anakin turn into Darth Vader, Palpatine becoming the Emperor, the destruction of the Jedi Order and why Yoda and Obi-Wan went into seclusion, Luke & Leia’s birth and how they were separated. Again, it didn’t have the heart that the original movies had, but it’s really not a terrible movie.
Now that she was emerged into the Star Wars universe, she couldn’t stop. She’s currently watching the Clone Wars series (come ON, even cartoon Obi-Wan is dreamy too!?!) and cannot WAIT to catch up on Rebels, and of course, (hopefully) enjoy Episode VII in a theater full of die-hard fans this December.