Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Long Time Ago

The air-conditioning of the movie theater felt sharp and fresh against our tank-top clad selves. Our sandals made that peculiar popping sound shoes make as they fight the sticky residue on the floor of the aisle.

We made our way to two seats - down near the front. And settled in, eating Jujubes as we waited for the movie to start.

The lights went down, the previews came and went, and finally, with that music that we've all come to know, the show started - and there was a scroll of words across the screen: "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." and we were transported to the world of Star Wars. We were entranced by Luke, Princess Lea, Han Solo, Darth Vader, R2D2 and C3PO. It was all new to us. It was thirty years ago. We were eleven.

My friend and I went to see that movie five or six times that summer. Her father was the manager of the theater, so we got in for free - the following summer we saw Grease 5 or 6 times.

Star Wars defined that summer. Not only because I spent so much of my summer in the air-conditioned "twin cinema" watching it, but because it was everywhere in popular culture. When we went to see that movie the first time, we didn't know we were in at the beginning of a cultural phenomenon.

When the second movie came out - I saw it in the theater, but only once. By the time the third one came out I didn't see it until I rented the video. Of the newer films, I've seen bits and pieces of them.

But that summer I was eleven, Star Wars was a very big part of my life. And seeing that movie now, always transports me back to those hot days, when the only air-conditioning I got was in the movie theater, and when I would sit up close with my friend and watch a movie that by the end of the summer we pretty much knew by heart.

May the Force by With You.

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