Who needs Star Wars anyway?

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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Contributing columnist

I suppose I’m not much of a movie guy. In fact, I think the movie industry has officially run out of interesting and intriguing ideas, so they just keep re-making older movies trying to re-live the past. I can say that rarely works out. These movies are kind of like re-heating pizza. Sure, you can stick it in the oven and make it look fresh, but it will never be as good as the original on the day it was made.

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I always claim that I don’t have time to sit and watch a two-hour movie, but somehow I manage to find the time to binge watch 10 hours of an entire season of a show on Netflix. I recall a few years ago, the family dragged me to the theater to watch the new Avengers movie. On the way home, my wife asked me how I liked it. I said that it was great. It was the best nap I’ve had all week.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike all movies. In fact, I’ve seen The Karate Kid so many times, I can quote every line right along with the movie. Roadhouse is a classic that I’ll watch anytime I find it on. Other than that, I will have to sit it out.

So, sorry to you movie buffs out there but I have never seen any of the Harry Potter movies, no Lord of the Rings and no Indiana Jones. There have been no Hobbits in my life unless you count the guy who works two offices down from me. There have been no Avatars or superheroes for me. No dinosaurs destroying the earth, or talking toys in my past or in my future. I also must say that I have never seen Star Wars, or any of its 10,000 sequels.

I came very close to seeing Star Wars once when it was originally released. I often think about that time and laugh. It was the fall of 1977, and the whole gang of siblings and my parents loaded up on a Friday night and drove out to the drive-in theatre. Star Wars was huge at that time. Everyone who I knew was talking about it, and I even had several of the action figures. I couldn’t have been happier that I was finally going to see it. The double feature playing that night was Smokey and the Bandit first and then Star Wars. My father had some co-workers who had highly recommended the Smokey and the Bandit movie, so off we went.

If you have ever seen Smokey and the Bandit, you know that there was some rough language in it. At least by 1977 standards anyway. The movie wasn’t even a fourth of the way through when Jackie Gleason rattled off multiple four-letter words that would’ve made a trucker blush. My dad being deeply religious, began to become restless. With every curse word, he grumbled and twisted and turned in his seat until finally he had heard enough. Right in the middle of the movie, he started up the car, pushed the gear lever into drive and we were out of there. Star Wars was so close yet so far away and my dear old father ignored all the screams and crying as he put his foot on the gas pedal and sped toward home.

By the time I became old enough to seek out the movie on my own, I no longer cared. However, I often have a good laugh at the image in my mind of the carload of screaming kids going down the road. My dad didn’t just talk the talk of his religion, he also walked the walk, despite the crying kids who wanted to stay to watch Star Wars.  So, I hope you have a great week, and, oh yea, may the force be with you, or something like that.