Thanks to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and I guess I should include my blog, my kids will always know the day they went to the movies to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens a.k.a. Episode VII. I cannot honestly say that I saw the first movie – then known simply as Star Wars, now known as Episode IV or A New Hope – in the cinema back in 1977, or even in 1978 as I was either 3-years-old or 4-years-old when it was released in Australia.
Before home video players were in everyone’s home, when a sequel was released it was common for cinemas to have a re-release of the earlier movies. The original Star Wars movie was re-released in 1978 and again in 1979, before The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980, and then again in 1981 and 1982 before Return of the Jedi was released to cinemas in 1983.
I do know that before the sequel The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980 I had seen the movie somehow because the Star Wars Holiday Special was shown on television in Australia some time around Christmas 1978 or the beginning of 1979 and I knew all the characters in that show at the age of 4-years-old. As it was highly unlikely that the original movie was shown on Australian television before that date because back then it took about three years before a movie was shown on network television in Australia after leaving the cinema, I would hazard a guess that I did in fact see this in the cinema with my family.
As that first movie was first shown in theatres on Wednesday, 25th May, 1977, it is highly likely that, knowing back then it took about six months before movies would be released in Australia, the movie would have been one of the summer 1977-78 blockbuster releases. If this was the case, I would have been almost 4-years-old when I would have had my first opportunity to see it. I asked my dad a few months ago about the original Star Wars movie and what sort of hype was preceding its release. He told me that there was some sort of hype as it was billed as something different to what we had seen before in science fiction movies.
The day the original movie was released in the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre a.k.a. Mann’s Chinese Theatre, my own father was a few months older than 40-years-old. He would have been closer to 41-years-old the day we went to see it which is the same age that I am now. (Yes, the circle is complete). But, unless he kept a diary and thought it was worthy to document that our family went to the movies on that day to see some random science fiction film, or if he somehow kept the ticket stubs from that event, we really have no way to know the same way my kids will be able to tell their kids the day they saw this latest film.
So here we are, on the eve of seeing the new movie, and to say that I am as excited as the boys that we’re about to see this is an understatement. In fact, I have already organised what me and the boys are going to be wearing…
And to top it off, as the excitement levels are equal to or greater than those feelings you have as a child on Christmas Eve, I thought I would write my own version of “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” or “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas”.
Twas the night before Star Wars, when all through the house
The boys were excited, so too was my spouse;
I picked out our tshirts, and yes, I’m quite serious
More so than the Emperor when he was Darth Sidious
We’ve watched all the trailers, ten times on YouTube,
But blocked all of the spoilers in the early reviews
The boys soon will be nestled snug in their beds
While visions of Stormtroopers dance in their heads
We’ve seen all the posters, bought some of the toys
I’ve even bought lightsabers for both the boys
We’ve purchased our tickets, we bought them online
Knowing that the cinema will have a long line
Then above our rooftop, the trumpets rang out strong
Not a verse, nor a chorus, the Star Wars theme song
More rapid than tauntauns, these characters they came,
For some reason I needed to shout out their name;
“Han Solo, Skywalker!
Kylo Ren, Rey and Finn,
Dameron and Kanata!
We will seen you tomorrow,
If I’m not mistaken
When the opening crawl
Says ‘The Force Awakens’
We’ll jump in my car, in a flash we’ll be gone
We’ll arrive just in time, to buy our popcorn,
But tonight, I must sleep, so I’ll rug up real tight
“May the Force be with you, and to all a good night!”
Are you going to see the movie? When are you going to see it?