A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — 30 years ago this week in fact, at the old Bloor Street Cinema — a great adventure took place. Although I was too young to understand what was going on (I thought Storm Troopers were robots, and was seriously upset when Obi Wan Kenobi took a dive against Darth Vader), I knew what I liked. Within a year I was wearing Star Wars shoes and T-shirts, had Star Wars curtains and a Star Wars bedspread, and had a poster of the movie on my wall that I probably should have held onto in retrospect. Every morning my dad would wake the house up cursing as he stepped on an action figure or gun or Sandpeople pike staff that was left on the floor by my brother or me. Every few months he’d take us by the Kenner toy depot to pick up a new stockpile of weapons to replace the ones we lost, broken or were sucked up by the vacuum.
The coup de grâce came when my brother and I got some glow in the dark light sabers for Christmas that we tried out in our basement one evening, resulting in a broken femur on my part and eight weeks of being dragged to Kindergarten on a toboggan. The Force was clearly not with me that time.
To this day I remain a huge fan of the original trilogy, and can debate anyone for hours on the topic of “Why the prequel triology sucks”. Midi-chlorians my ass.
And while I’m not a big enough fan to dress up as Darth Maul and line up outside a movie theatre, the 30 th anniversary celebration of Star Wars is a big deal to me. Aside from making me feel old, there’s some pride in knowing that I saw the greatest science fiction film of all time before I could even ride a bike, that I was part of the magic.
The trilogy remains one of my most memorable aspects of growing up, right up there with visiting Disneyworld (Space Mountain needed a few Storm Troopers), Christmas (the time when I got all my Star Wars toys), and my first day of elementary school (where we showed off our Star Wars lunch boxes). I can probably name more characters is the Mos Eisley cantina scene (shout out to Walrus Man and Hammerhead!) than I could in my Grade One class photo.