Saturday is a holiday in the Linna household. May 4th is known around the world, or should I say galaxy, as Star Wars Day because of the film's catchphrase, "May the Force be with you."
When Star Wars opened in 1977, I was 11 years old. My brother and I went to the theater with some neighbor kids. For my generation it was the first film people went to see multiple times. I remember sitting in my seat and seeing the phrase, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," in blue letters, which as an artist I could appreciate. Then came the famous scrolling text written in gold that slowly disappeared on a slant into space, another movie phenomenon no one our age had seen before. Staring at the black screen, we soon felt a rumble and wondered what we were going to see next. Onscreen was a small spacecraft being chased by the source of the loud rumble which soon appeared to be directly over our heads - a gigantic starship. From that point on, I was a Star Wars fan.
There were so many things I loved about the movie. Princess Leia, for instance, is a strong young woman who wasn't afraid to speak her mind. One of my favorite lines in the film is when she says to an Imperial commander, "I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board." There was the young farmer, Luke Skywalker, who like so many of us as teenagers, was anxious to leave the quiet, dull life he grew up in for a more exciting adventure. Han Solo, my first movie star crush, is the cocky pilot whose ship, the Millennium Falcon, made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. These three unlikely friends became heroes with the help of an old Jedi, Obi-wan Kenobi, and two droids, C3PO and R2D2. I always liked the relationship between the two robots because they seemed to have human characteristics, another feature I had not seen before in films.
Since then, we anxiously awaited the sequels which I enjoyed just as much as the first movie. I admit to boycotting the prequels but eventually broke down and watched them. The story of how Darth Vader turns to the dark side made this man who was mostly machine more human.
All these years later, my husband and I are still Star Wars fans as are our children. My husband loves the music, my daughter dressed as Padme one year for Halloween and my son has a Darth Vader costume. Don't even get me started on the number of VHS tapes and DVDs we have in our entertainment center. Every time a new version of the movies are released, we are somehow obligated to purchase it.
As much as we love Star Wars there is another, better reason we love May 4 - it is my son's birthday. Happy birthday, Luke, and "may the Force be with you."