I remember being in kindergarten, around the time Star Wars came out, and excitedly discussing Princess Leia with some of my classmates. I don’t remember much about kindergarten, oddly, but I do remember this moment. Standing outside waiting for the school bus and getting really, really excited about Star Wars and this strong woman character, a princess warrior with an ornate hairdo that didn’t detract one bit from her ability to handle herself under extreme pressure.
Years later I remember being home sick from seventh grade. I had a friend’s Star Wars trilogy on loan, VHS tapes her family had recorded off TV somewhere. I watched all three in one sick, couch-fest of a day, and savored every minute of it. I devoured that trilogy time and time again that year, I couldn’t get enough of Obi-Wan, Yoda, Luke (once he stopped whining), Han and Leia.
Fast forward, lightspeed style, a lot of years. I am now mother to two girls, 10 and 8 years old. This summer I bought the trilogy and announced, ‘Girls, the time has come!’ (My announcement was probably a little more conversational, but you get the idea.)
They were ready, and over the next three days my girls and I traveled to Tatooine, to Bespin and back to Tatooine. I couldn’t wait to get to Endor because, well, Ewoks are cute and I knew my girls would appreciate that, but basically they love it all as much as I do. This is maybe partly because I’m so enthusiastic, partly because the movies are just so well done, so timeless.
It’s been a blast having someone to discuss the nuances of these movies with, as well as our disappointment with the more recent prequel trilogy (Clone Wars et al.). I think my older daughter spoke for all of us when she stated, flatly, ‘they just aren’t as good.” And honestly, the original trilogy isn’t as good as it was when I was little, only because George Lucas couldn’t help himself, retroactively inserting little special effect details that detract from the tension of the original masterpiece. (You know what I’m talking about, that musical number at Jabba’s fortress would have been perfect had only it been on the Muppet Show and not in the middle of Return of the Jedi. Note to Lucas: If it ain’t broke, sir, don’t fix it!)
Flaws and disappointing prequels notwithstanding, I am extremely grateful the Star Wars trilogy came out when I was a kid, and has stood the test of time so well that my girls can share in the excitement with me.
We also love the Harry Potter series, or course,and an old school BBC version of the Chronicles of Narnia that came out years before the blockbuster. Again, the old, slow version of Narnia is the one we return to again and again, while the newer, fancier, version is kind-of ‘eh’…
Do you have any favorite movies from childhood that your kids love as well? If so, please comment! Always looking for suggestions over here we are…