By Peggy Marie
Most people who meet me would not immediately think “Star Wars” fan and those people would be right. And I don’t think when @FilmBee put out the word in our Saturday meeting that she was looking for a few Star Wars pieces, whether good or bad feelings on the subject, that she would’ve ever thought I would be one to write one up. But there was a time in a galaxy far far away when…… 🙂
In these weird never before experienced times, I did something I probably should have done years ago. I did cleaning projects. I’ve found things that I didn’t remember ever buying – things like loads of never used makeup and enough hair products to stock a small store. But I also found these amazing VHS tapes that I had been given and saved from a time in my life long past – A collection of original special released “Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. It contains all the original films, “Star Wars”, “The Empire Strikes Back and “Return of the Jedi” with new footage along with enhanced sound & effects. And it’s still sealed.
It all took me back to the day I saw my first Star Wars film, “Return of the Jedi”. I never had seen the first two films, though I had definitely heard about them – As a full-fledged beach girl at the time, surfing & the beach was my life. Money was tight in my little immigrant family and every nickel saved was going toward my new Robert August surfboard. So on the day that this boy on whom I had the biggest crush on invited me to see “Return of the Jedi”, to say I was excited would be an understatement. His name was Johnny so of course, he immediately became ‘Johnny Jedi.’ As he came to pick me & a friend up in his mom’s car, to see his carload of buddies along with him was needless to say a bit of a letdown, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my time. What happened at that theater that day probably changed my life forever.
“There is something about the original three that can never be replicated and while some might feel they’ve recaptured their essence now, I never have and am not a huge fan of the new breed of recent years.”
“Return of the Jedi” was thankfully not made so you would be completely clueless if not having seen the previous two films. What unfolded before me that day was a completely new experience for me, and it was one I never really forgot. The story, the imagery, the characters and yes, even the special effects – something that we might laugh at now, but until then had never really been done to that extent before. I mean who didn’t want to be Princess Leia after that.. who didn’t want Luke Skywalker to find out who his dad was, who didn’t fall in love with Harrison Ford and want to try to speak Wookiee to each other. We all did. The entire world did! And then I did something I had never done before as well – I went back to see the movie over and over again.
I fell completely in love with movies and from that day forward I had a second passion in my life that has never faded. I saw everything for years along with the first two films. While surfing slowly went by the wayside after college for me, I never forgot Johnny Jedi or that experience. When they tried to recreate it in the early & the mid-2000s with Hayden Christensen – I saw one of them, but it just didn’t feel the same. There is something about the original three that can never be replicated and while some might feel they’ve recaptured their essence now, I never have and am not a huge fan of the new breed of recent years.
Alas my crush on ‘Johnny Jedi’ faded away, the memories and feelings of how I watched the movie has stayed forever with me and I came to realize a movie can take you back to a time and place in your life just by watching it – and it’s that feeling that has never left me. May the original Force be with us now and forever.
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