Thirty years friends.
Thirty years since we’ve had a good Star Wars film.
Thirty years we’ve waited to find out what happens to Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, R2, and Threepio.
And tonight, we’ll know.
Ever since I was a child, Star Wars has been the language of my imagination. I suspect that a lot of you, like me, have spent hours dreaming and projecting yourself into that universe: cardboard tube lightsaber in hand or earmuffs at the ready. My favorite scene in Star Wars is a simple one- young Luke Skywalker gazing upon a binary sunset, yearning for adventure, curious about the future. It’s the longing felt by all young people as they try to find their way in the world. As a homeschooled kid growing up on a farm (in the desert no less), let’s just say I identified with Luke. A lot.
I felt the disappointment of the prequels deeply. The hype was unimaginable and the letdown was crushing; for me it was a near existential crisis. Star Wars was so much a part of me and I couldn’t reconcile how terrible the films were. I remember driving home from The Phantom Menace in my dad’s truck in a state of shock. The prequels were as wrenching to me as Luke discovering his true heritage.
And yet, Star Wars remained a part of me. It didn’t have the same power- I became more or less immune to the merchandise and the subsequent sequels and spinoffs. The planned 3D re-issue of the films felt like a gratuitous cash crab. Still, Star Wars lived on in my imagination.
A few years back, I was driving home from work and a little melody popped into my head. It was simple; childlike. By the time I got home, the entire song was nearly finished. I quickly opened garageband and recorded what I thought would be a demo into my laptop microphone. And that was it.
After the video for the song went viral I started getting emails; emails from all over the world. It was more email than I could ever answer (sorry about that!). They all felt the same way I did. Letdown. Disappointed. Heartbroken. The song seemed to help them sum up how they felt. It was a dark time for Star Wars fans.
Now after thirty years in the wilderness, we have what appears to be a good Star Wars film, made by fans who love it.
And I’ve never felt more like a kid.
May the Force be with you,