Today, May 25th 2007, is the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars.
No, not "Episode IV: A New Hope".
I was only two and a half years old, almost three. My Mom took me to see it anyway. Why? Hell, I dunno. She says I liked the commercials.
I ended up watching it today, with my daughter, who is the same age now as I was then (we were born just under 30 years apart). She's already a fan, as I've mentioned before. She loves this stuff the way I loved this stuff. She has toy lightsabers, action figures by the boxful, and pretends to fight Stormtroopers in the hallway. Her face lights up when we talk about Star Wars.
My wife put the DVD in today and, because she was doing so quickly, put in the wrong one: the Special Edition. We were about 20 minutes in when I decided that I couldn't observe the anniversary of The Greatest Space Fantasy Of All Time by watching that, and quickly replaced it with the "Extras" DVD which contains the original, theatrical version.
That's the movie I fell in love with, warts and all. That movie is the reason there is tons of Star Wars junk in my house, the reason I wanted to be a filmmaker all my life, the reason I'm a gamer, the reason I never, ever, ever gave up my sense of wonder, no matter what I faced in my real life.
In my house, Han Shoots First. All day, every day.
Sitting there watching the trench run with my wife and daughter, a simple thought entered m mind and I quickly voiced it to my child:
"You know, Lily, when I was about your age, this movie was my WORLD." And I quickly added, "Kind of like it is yours."
It's silly, maybe, but that movie means so incredibly much in our home...it's hard to overstate its importance. It's not like we list our religion as "Jedi" on official documents or stuff like that; it's just so deep and so important and so natural a part of our lives. I cannot think of my childhood without thinking of the thrill and the constant joy that that movie gave me. It's not just a movie to me.
It's an icon of my life.
Happy Birthday, Star Wars.