Don’t worry. No spoilers.
Well, unless you’ve never seen the original trilogy or the trilogy of prequels that followed/preceded. But no “force awakens” spoilers. I promise. Though I desperately need to process that with someone, lol.
Anyway. Here we go.
The house I grew up in may have been different from yours as a child. At my house, we didn’t own the original Star Wars trilogy. My Mom had seen them in the 70s, and I’m not sure about my Dad. I know my Mom had liked them. But they certainly weren’t what we’d call fans. My brother and I didn’t play with sticks and pretend they were light sabres in the backyard. Some would say we were robbed of an experience that shouldn’t have been taken from us.
When I was in high school, I very very briefly dated a guy. That’s not the important part of this story, though. What is important here is that he found out I had never seen Star Wars… and he kind of freaked out a little. He loaned me “A New Hope” and told me my job was to watch it, and call him as soon as I was done so we could talk about how much I loved it. It actually, thinking back on it, kind of reminds me of the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Stella admits that she’d never seen Star Wars, so naturally because Marshall and Ted are obsessed, she has to. Long story short, I fell asleep on the couch because I found it boring. Also I wasn’t really into sci-fi… or… kind of secretly was, but didn’t want to be, because I didn’t think it was cool. And also — my limited exposure had been to things like Star Trek – Deep Space Nine… which was lame. Voyager was kinda ok… my Mom and brother are Trekkies. I figured if sci-fi was those things, no thank you. Then Stargate happened…. that was a whole other world. Anyway. I’m getting off track. This happens when I write late.
I had to call my boyfriend and tell him that I fell asleep, and couldn’t get into it. From that point forward, I just kind of figured Star Wars wasn’t my jam.
A couple years ago, some friends from church wanted to have a Star Wars night and watch the original trilogy. I said I wasn’t into Star Wars and couldn’t stay awake. They countered that I was a teenager, I was naive about the world, and that… most importantly… I was alone, with no one to keep me into it. I agreed to give it another shot. We started with A New Hope.
I fell asleep again. On the couch, sitting up, surrounded by like 10 other people.
I woke up a few times throughout. Just in time for “these are not the droids you’re looking for” and the trash compactor scene.
I had to run out after A New Hope, and my plan had been to come back after my appointment, but since I’d fallen asleep, I decided to just bail and not watch The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi.
Fast forward several years and I’m now attempting to date a completely different guy. He goes on and on about how excited he was to see the new Star Wars (the Force Awakens) and “what did you think? Surely you’ve seen it by now.” We were talking just before Christmas at this point.
Well surely I had not. “Actually, I’ve never seen Star Wars. It’s just not my thing.”
Stunned silence. It was just emails… but I could hear the stunned silence, lol. “You’ve…. never seen… Star Wars?” Came back the reply. Clearly rethinking his choice in women at this point. That’s right. I’m Stella. And just like Stella wasn’t right for Ted, I wasn’t right for this guy. And not because I hadn’t seen Star Wars.
I’m off track again. Back to The Force.
I had grown tired of being one of the only people in the Western World, or at least in North America… who hadn’t seen these movies. And I was getting tired of exactly that reaction. “you… haven’t seen… Star Wars?” as if I’ve been living under a rock these past 31 years. For the longest time it’s been on principle. If I’ve made it this long, surely I could have made it the rest of my life. Surely. Well, I blew that.
I gave in.
My best friend and I gathered all six movies, and we settled in to watch all 6 in succession (release date order, which was the condition of the friend who loaned them to me). We finished all 6 in just under 15 hours, and that is how a Star Wars fan is born. I can no longer go back to being the girl who’d never seen Star Wars. That version of me has died. It’s been replaced by a Jedi Master.
I live tweeted throughout all 6 movies. That’s right, I kept my phone close through 13.5 hours of film and tweeted reactions. Then, I compiled the best of those tweets into a Storified Story for you over here, if you’d like to see what it’s like to watch all 6 in a row.
Tonight, I went to see The Force Awakens. In 3D. At first, I thought it was kind of a betrayal to the originals, because they were able to accomplish so much with so few special effects at their disposal in 1977.
But…. I changed my mind.
And now there’s a void in my soul where watching Star Wars used to be.
You know that void you feel when a show on Netflix ends after you’ve binged on it, and you have to wait a devastatingly long time for the next season?
I feel like that with Star Wars.
Guys, I know I’ve only been a fan for 72 hours, but I’m gonna need Episode 8 now. Like… right now.
I felt kind of like this when I got to the Netflix end of White Collar…. but that was a little different, because there was another season still, and I didn’t fancy waiting, so I bought it on iTunes.
I also felt a bit like this at the end of Chuck. Like there was a big, gaping hole in my life, haha. But that was also different, because I knew Chuck wasn’t coming back.
Side note: if you’ve never seen Chuck or White Collar, get on it. They’re epic.
But alas, even though I can’t actually discuss The Force Awakens anywhere on Social Media because I would hate to spoil that movie for you, I have to say….. Go see it.
And if you’ve never seen Star Wars, you need to.
As the friend who loaned me the movies said: “They’re iconic. They defined a genre of film and heavily influenced an entire generation.” (I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist.)
Lastly, if you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet… go. Now. Do it. Then talk to me so I can process.
PS while I have willfully ignored the impulse to talk about the plot of the new movie in this post, I can’t guarantee others in the comments will be so kind. Please read any comments on this post at your own risk.