Saturday, December 19, 2015

'Star Wars' spans the generations ... and the galaxy

We went to see the latest "Star Wars" movie Friday. We would have gone Thursday but newspaper folks work any time of the day or night and I worked Thursday night. The line was long and there was a father and son in line ahead of us so we struck up a conversation. "I came to see the first 'Star Wars' when I was his age," the man informed us. "Now I'm bringing him." The man's comment started the wheels turning in my brain. Linda and I had not dated long when I took her to see the first "Star Wars" movie. Now, 38 years later, I was taking her to see the seventh episode in the series. Technically, she was taking me. She had taken cash out of our account before she left the bank. Thirty-eight years later, life has changed for all of us. The actors in that first epic are older (except for C-3PO and R2-D2, they never change.) Linda and I are married with two kids and seven grandkids. While our new friend's son has undoubtedly grown up with "Star Wars" Linda told me about a 12-year-old who had never seen the movies. There is something comforting about seeing that Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford have grown older and in the new "Star Wars." I won't give away the plot but you probably know they reprise their roles of Leia and Han in the new movie. Then, there are the young actors playing the good guys in the new movie. Not unlike real life where older folks gradually move aside for the young ones. We may not always like it but one look at Carrie on screen -- is she wearing new dentures? It sounds like it when she talks -- and gray-haired Harrison and you know they could not believably do the running and jumping that the younger actors take on. There may not be enough special effects in Hollywoodland to make Harrison and Carrie look like they are 30 again. Walking into the theater, I had to keep glancing around for anyone who might be a disciple of ISIL. You have to do that, these days. Our government says so. Instead, I saw pimply-faced teens dressed as storm troopers and one kid with a light saber lit up, holding it high as the musical strains of that famous movie theme came up over that wonderful surround sound system. Do you remember when George Lucas took the original movie and added special effects he couldn't afford in 1977? Even though the original movies have been beefed up, the effects in the new movie are spectacular by comparison. Well, life has certainly got better for me since 1977 and no special effects were required.