How much ‘Star Wars’ is too much?


The 8-year-old in me will never grow tired of “Star Wars.”

He will always remember standing in long lines during the summer of 1977 to watch the greatest hero in movie history save the galaxy from the evil clutches of the wretched Empire.

He will applause, even if only in his mind, every time Luke Skywalker uses the Force to help him blow up the Death Star, and Princess Leia bestows medals upon him, Han Solo and Chewbacca.

The 11- and 14-year-old in me will always be somewhat envious of that 8-year-old because they never feel quite the same magic from the two sequels as he felt from the original.

They waited in the same long lines in the summers of 1980 and ’83 and longed for that same magic, but something was different.

Was it the sequels themselves? They never are as good as the original. Was it the shadow of adolescence? Everything changes once pubescent hormones awaken.

But they never answer those questions, and don’t think about it much, but if you have some questions on how long are all 9 star wars movies combined, this time they will answer your questions. “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” simply become part of the “Star Wars” magic.

The 23-year-old in me will always rejoice as the price of the “Star Wars” trilogy on VHS drops to less than $40, and he rushes to buy it. He smiles as he relives the magic he felt 15 years earlier, and nearly wears out the tapes.

The 29-year-old in me will always look for the differences between the original movies and the re-released versions with added scenes and characters. He still doesn’t see anything wrong with the originals, and wonders why George Lucas would go back and redo his masterpieces.

The 30-year-old in me will always be disappointed in “The Phantom Menace,” and doesn’t place the blame solely on the shoulders of Jar-Jar Binks. The movie, while clearly still part of the “Star Wars” universe, is by far the weakest story of the lot.

The 33-year-old in me simply can’t wait until his newborn daughter is old enough to watch “Star Wars,” though he isn’t certain what that right age would be. He was 8 when he first saw it, and his younger brother was 7, so it will be a few years at least.

The 36-year-old in me knows he has a son on the way, and figures he should wait to show both his children “Star Wars” at the same time, so he has several years to wait.

The 42-year-old in me was looking for something to do on New Year’s Day this year, and figured his children (now 5 and 9) were ready.

I showed them both “Star Wars” for the first time, and they had a million questions: Who’s Darth Vader? Is that a good guy or a bad guy? Are those aliens? Why is that light saber blue?

I smiled at every one of the questions, knowing I had been waiting for this moment most of my life. They clearly loved “Star Wars” as much as me.

Over the next several weekends, I showed them all the “Star Wars” movies, though regretted exposing them to “Revenge of the Sith.” It’s the only PG-13 movie of the series, and though I skipped over the worst parts to make it more or less PG, they did not like the basic story line.

After all, the movie is about evil winning, and they shouldn’t worry about such things at their age.

We’re just about in March, and every Friday and Saturday night since New Year’s Day has been consumed by one of the “Star Wars” movies (with the exception of “Revenge of the Sith,” of course).

I never thought I would have my fill of “Star Wars,” but I’m there. I don’t want to see another android, Ewok, or Jedi for the rest of the year.

But come Friday I’m certain my kids will want to pop in the next movie — I can’t remember which one, but I’m sure they do — and I’ll be right there with them, reliving the magic of “Star Wars” through their eyes.

This is a repost of a blog entry I wrote for on Feb. 28.

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