[Editor's Note: I invited happyzinny to come play in the stuph™ sandbox because, quite honestly, I find her writing to be extremely entertaining and quite humorous. I enjoy every post of hers and I wanted to help her gain a following being as I think that she's quite talented. So your mission, Stuph Maphia™, is to head on over to happyzinny's blog after reading this masterpiece and click on the follow button because, well, reading entertaining blogs is what we're all here for, right? In that department, zinny doesn't disappoint.]
Hello, happyzinny here! Twindaddy asked me if I’d come visit the Stuphblog universe for a bit, and I was thrilled to accept his kind offer. As you know, he’s a real Star Wars geek, so I hope he likes these memories of…
My Summer of Star Wars
I was lucky enough to see Star Wars on the big screen back in 1977, when it first came out. No one knew at that time what a worldwide phenomenon it would become. All I knew was that within minutes of being immersed in George Lucas’ beat-up world of dusty heroes, strangely-coiffed princesses, and metal droids, I was sure it was the best movie I’d seen in all my 12 years.
My big sister Lisa sat next to me in the darkened theater. Every seat was filled, yet the audience sat silent in tense anticipation. Someone was on Princess Leia’s ship. Something bad was going to happen, you could tell. Even those soldiers in white looked a little nervous, or was that my imagination?
Deep rhythmic breathing. A huge humanoid shape approached. Sudden blackness against the stark white walls of the ship. Black cape, black mask, and that ominous, eerie breathing. Enter the most sinister figure I’d ever seen.
My sister leaned over and whispered in my ear. “He’s the bad guy.”
She said later that the look I gave her was very eloquent. In today’s parlance, it might be translated as, WTF??? But we didn’t have that handy acronym back then. I think it was more along the lines of duh! I gave her my most withering duh! look, because obviously Darth Vader was the bad guy. I was a kid and I knew he was the bad guy. A deaf man watching the movie would have seen that he was the bad guy, and a blind guy would have heard that he was the bad guy. Had my pet gerbil been there, he would’ve sensed the pure, evil badness, too.
My sister and I still joke about it. When we go to a movie, we stage whisper to each other about the goodness or badness of characters. For example, Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln? “Psst! He’s the good guy!”
But that summer was also memorable for a different reason. Not only did I learn to separate the good guys from the bad, I also learned to separate the boys from the men. I’d had a huge crush on Luke, that golden-haired youth with the sort of Karate-style outfit. I could definitely see us having a future together.
I mean, remember how sensitive he looked in front of that famous double sunset? If he could gaze at those blazing orbs, then surely he could see past my glasses and braces and lackluster hair and knee-socks and pimples and really ugly plaid school uniform and see me for who I really was- a princess from the far end of the galaxy, a mousy Princess Leia without the goofy bunhair.
I saved whatever money I could scrounge up and returned as often as I could to see my Luke. The special effects were amazing, but as far as I was concerned, it was a basically a one-man movie.
Then one day, maybe it was my third or fourth time back, something changed. I came out of the darkened matinee and stood in the blazing afternoon sun, blinking like one who had been underground for too long.
Had he been in the movie this whole time? What had I been watching? How had I missed seeing him? Luke who?
How on Tatooine had I missed even noticing Harrison Ford the first few times I’d seen this movie?
I felt a bit guilty abandoning Luke, but it was never going to work out. He was from a planet in some far distant galaxy, after all. Harrison and I were both from Chicago. Much better odds of things working out. And Luke was a nice enough guy, he was learning to use a lightsaber and all, but Harrison Ford was a skilled carpenter and could build a house with his bare hands. But most important, his character had a smirk. Han Solo had a sense of humor, a thing poor Luke was sadly lacking. I don’t think Luke had ever told a joke in his life. Han Solo was so sardonic, he didn’t even take the Force seriously. He cracked me up.
Some strange internal change was germinating in me that summer. A humor hormone must have sprouted as I sat in the dark watching Star Wars. Carefully tended, fed with Raisinettes, with roots that grew down to the sticky floor of the theater, it grew.
That was definitely a turning point for me. Since then, every guy I’ve ever liked or admired has had a sense of humor. (And no, watching Three Stooges marathons doesn’t count.) I guess I have Star Wars to thank for that. Funny that such a realization should come to me from such a long time ago, from a galaxy far, far away, back when I was twelve.
Thank you so much, twindaddy, for inviting me to play in your marvelous blog! Though he wears the dreaded armor of the Empire, twindaddy is truly a generous, caring, and hilarious guy at heart. The Force really is with him. I mean, you’ve read Stuphblog, you’ve seen how cool he is, I mean, duh!
[twindaddy, please feel free to add a Star Wars graphic anywhere you want, I don't know how to grab images off the internet and don't want to do anything stupid! Hope this is ok!]