Star Wars in Theaters, binding the Galaxy together
It was May 1999, my junior year of high school in North Houston.
Myself and three buddies bounced out of our pre-cal class at 11:00 a.m. and hopped into the new, white Ford Explorer my mom had let me borrow for the day.
We listened to Blink-182, talked about girls and speculated about the wondrous joy that George Lucas had planned for the four of us in “The Phantom Menace.”
So when we saw it, what did we think of what’s considered the worst Star Wars film ever made?
We loved it. We saw it together 8 more times in theaters, and only came to realize that maybe it wasn’t as great as we thought a few months later.
May 2002, all of us in college across the state. We all meet up at the same theater, this time in separate cars, to see “Attack of the Clones.”
May 2005, this time, graduated and scattered across the country, we meet at the same theater to see “Revenge of the Sith.”
December 2015, “The Force Awakens.” Same theater, this time all married with kids.
December 2017, “The Last Jedi.” Same theater. All significantly fatter than 2015.
And now, this coming Thursday night, the same group of guys will meet at the same theater to see the conclusion of the Skywalker story. Nearly 20 years of memories, friendship, heartbreak, joy and Star Wars will unite us in the same place to be a part of what we all love. This time my son will be joining us. The tradition will continue.
Star Wars on opening night. There’s nothing in cinema like it. To do it with friends and family on a crisp winter night is like Christmas morning.
Some people hated the last Star Wars film. Some people will hate Rise of Skywalker after it debuts this weekend and will take to social media and their blogs to voice their displeasure with hate and vitriol. Just remember, if someone doesn’t like something you like, that doesn’t make them a bad person.
Rise of Skywalker may not be what I want it to be. That’s okay. I will have shared a few more hours with my best friends and my son, speculating, anticipating and riding the emotion that comes with seeing Star Wars after a two-year wait.
Seize the opportunity and make a memory. It’s just as much about family and our Star Wars community as it is the quality of the film.
May the Force be with You.