Just a little background: I am the IT Director for a “major market research company” in the Dallas area. I’ve been working for the same company going on 28 years.
A few years ago I was standing around, talking to a few of our software developers, reminiscing about Star Wars.
“Yeah,” said Brandon. “Star Wars was great. Anything that came before it was blown completely out of the water. Nothing even came close.”
“Yeah,” said Greg. “Say, what Star Wars toys did you have?”
“Everything,” replied Brandon. “I had all the action figures, a couple of light sabers. But the coolest were the Imperial Walkers.”
The others chimed in with oohs and ahs. Yeah. Imperial Walkers.
I was beset by a sudden wave of melancholy. Don’t get me wrong. This was all well and good. I love Star Wars. I love talking about Star Wars. You will find no greater Star Wars fan than me anywhere in the galaxy. But the conversation had taken an unexpected turn.
Star Wars toys. Hmmm.
“Wait a minute,” I said. “You guys had Star Wars toys when you were kids?”
“Yeah,” said Greg enthusiastically. “Imperial Cruisers, Imperial Walkers. Light sabers. Action figures. You name it.” He raised an eyebrow. “You mean you didn’t?”
I studied the coffee stain on the floor. It somehow resembled Princess Leia’s hairdo.
I realize that I suddenly felt a little out of place in this conversation, and I wondered if my hair was looking a little grayer than usual.
Finally, I blurted out what was on my mind.
“I didn’t have Star Wars toys because I was working here when Star Wars came out.”
Eyes grew wide, and there were snickers all around. “Sucks to be you,” someone said.
Yeah. It sucks to be me.
“Don’t you guys have something to do?” I finally said and stormed off.
Memories of all this came flooding in the other day as my family and I watched When Star Wars Ruled the World, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of Star Wars. It aired on VH1.
The documentary was talking about how many times people had seen Star Wars in the theater when it first came out.
Some people had seen it scores of times. In an interview with Kevin Smith, he talked about how he was relieved when Revenge of the Jedi finally came out because he knew he was never going to get laid if he was traipsing off to the movies all the time going to see Star Wars.
“How many times did you see Star Wars, Dad?” asked Ray, my 20-year-old daughter.
“You mean in the theater? Not counting on video?”
“Yeah. In the theater.”
“I think I saw it seven times.”
Ray laughed. I love it when Ray laughs. She has this evil sounding cackle.
“Seven? You saw it seven times?”
“In the theater,” I said. Of course I knew where she was going with this, but I thought it would be fun to play along. “I know that kind of pales to 28 times that some of these guys saw it.”
My wife looks up from her magazine. “I don’t think she’s laughing at you because you only saw it seven times. She’s thinking that even seven was excessive.”
Rachel is smirking. Her finger and thumb go to her forehead in the shape of an “L”.
“Oh, wait a minute,” I continued. “That only counts the times I saw it the first time around. I saw it at least two more times in the theater with you guys when they re-released it a few years back. That makes nine.”
Rachel covered her mouth and pointed at me.
I turned up the volume on the TV to drown out the snickering so I could hear more of the tale that told of an age a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when Star Wars did rule the world, and I secretly sat in the theater rapt in wonder, hoping someone would show up and give me my father’s light saber and whisk me off to save the galaxy.nbsp;