30 years of Star Wars

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Star Wars’ debut. The series is easily one of the top ten things ever, maybe even top five. A “bad” Star Wars movie is better than all but one of the Star Trek movies (admit it Fritz or disagree on your blog) and just about every other movie series.

I didn’t have a chance to grab my Highacres Collegian column “Star Wars Generation” from ten years ago off one of my old hard drives in time for this anniversary. When I get around to extracting it, I’ll see if it is any good and if it is, I’ll post it.

My favorite Star Wars memories:

  • Seeing Return of the Jedi in 1983. We stood in line for a long time and wound up sitting in the front row. Thanks, Mom.
  • The preview for the special editions. I wasn’t that excited about them until I saw the preview for them in late 1996 at a Star Trek movie (at a theater in Hazleton, Penna. that someone says was “authentic, because it smelled like Klingon”). I don’t even remember which Trek it was because once I saw the X-wing fly through the TV screen, I was lost in the hype.
  • Seeing Star Wars special edition at Magic Cinemas near Easton, Penna. I was at the Old School at the time and we drove 77 miles each way to the newest and biggest theater in that part of the commonwealth. It snowed that day and we were driving in convoy (because everybody always insisted on following the person who knew where they were going rather than take directions; is this just a Pennsylvania thing?) and I was in the lead car. The driver yelled “MAN DOWN!” and I turned around to see the second car go into a ditch on the shoulder of I-80. Long story short, nobody was hurt, the car got towed out and I took over driving it to the theater. After all that hearing the drum roll for 20th Century Fox and seeing STAR WARS on the big screen for the first time in 14 years just gave me an incredible rush. We saw all the other special editions at that theater during the rest of the semester. Those were easily the best times of the Old School era.
  • Seeing Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace with my Yurasko cousins in Florida. While we were all there for our grandmother’s funeral, it was great to share the experience with each other. The original plans — going to see it on with Brad on his 21st birthday in New York would have been pretty sweet though.
  • My first trip to Uptown to see Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace in summer 1999. I think I took my dad. I’ve seen all of them there first ever since then.
  • Watching Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace in a hot tub with a glass of bubbly and Erica.
  • Seeing Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith five times in the theater, an all-time record for in theater viewings. The first time I saw it my heart rate must have been about 150 for the duration.
  • I’ll admit I’m jealous of people old enough to have seen the movies originally. Ron Howard said that when he and his wife saw it they left the theater and without saying a word got back in line. I’ve talked to people who remember the gasps in the theater during The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker the truth. That must have been incredible.

    Before I list my favorites, here are some links about Star Wars:

    May the ‘Star Wars’ geek be with youc|net via nytimes.com

    ‘Star Wars,’ the Way You Like ItThe Times

    VINCENT CANBY ‘Star Wars’ A Trip to a Far Galaxy That’s Fun and Funny.The Times
    Even Canby liked Star Wars.

    NPR has done a few things over the years:

    Star Wars, Through the Years
    Includes Tom Shales 1977 review. Good stuff.

    ‘Star Wars’ Comes Full Circle

    A long time ago


    Heart of DarthnessThe Post
    From 2005: Includes original reviews.

    Star Wars: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far awayPost-Gazette
    Includes links to an original review and a few other articles.

    Pop Candy is blogging from Star Wars Celebration in L.A.

    My favorite episodes:

    The Empire Strikes Back
    Star Wars
    Revenge of the Sith
    Return of the Jedi
    The Phantom Menace
    Attack of the Clones

    Favorite scores
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Revenge of the Sith
    The Phantom Menace
    Star Wars
    Attack of the Clones
    Return of the Jedi

    Oh, happy birthday to Frank Oz.

    Also, starwars.com is supposed to unveil a redesign at 2:30 p.m. today.

    Gee, what movie should I watch tonight?


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