Star Wars has always been a huge part of my life. From the first time I watched the original trilogy when I was just a little kid, I knew those movies were something special. I watched them with my dad so many times that nowadays, seeing anything Star Wars related takes me back to the times when I would watch and re-watch the films with him.
That’s why April 16, 2015 was such a special day for me.
It started like any other; I went to my morning class and afterwards proceeded to take my semi-regular afternoon nap. But when I woke up, my twitter feed was blowing up with tweets about the new Star Wars teaser that had just released.
I fervently typed in the youtube url on my phone and punched in, “new Star Wars trailer” as fast as my fingers would allow me to. The next minute and fifty seconds could only be compared to the way a child feels on Christmas morning.
The teaser that released earlier in the year was good, but this one was something else altogether. Everything from the opening monologue with lines from Return of the Jedi to the shots of the Millennium Falcon being pursued by an unknown chrome-clad bounty hunter were nothing short of Star Wars perfection.
The last scene of the teaser is what really sealed the deal. Han and his trusted partner Chewie stand side by side and Han whispers, “Chewie. We’re home.”
It melted my heart. In that moment I felt like I was back home as well.
Seeing Han and Chewie together on screen again even for a split second took me back to my childhood home. It took me back to the time when I was just a little kid – so little that I had no desire to watch the original Star Wars movies and my dad had to bribe me into it. It took me back to the time shortly after my first viewing, after I instantly fell in love with the films and watching them became a nightly occurrence.
For a minute and 50 seconds I was no longer a 20-year-old college student stressing about midterms; I was an 8-year-old boy in the backyard, dueling lightsabers with my dad for hours on end.
Watching that trailer made me feel like I was home and, more importantly, it made me feel like I was with my family. Star Wars is probably the first thing I vividly remember bonding with my dad over.
When I think back to the relationship my dad and I shared when I was young, Star Wars was always a part of it. The universe created in those films was something that we talked about for hours on end. Through each re-watching of the films, each backyard lightsaber duel and each new action figure he bought me, we grew closer and closer.
I’m closer with my dad than I am with almost anyone else, and when I sit back and reflect on that bond I realize that so much of it has been built on the franchise. Those films have been the ultimate common ground for our relationship. The franchise’s strong tie to my family life is what makes me even more excited for the new movies. The new film conveniently releases during the holidays, and my dad and I have already made plans to see it.
As I get older and have less chances to spend less time with my dad, knowing that I have three more Star Wars films to see with him is the greatest joy I could ask for. It also means I can pass on that bond and continue that legacy.
Three more films being released means three more films I can watch over and over again with my future son, as well as three more films worth of merchandise, action figures and plastic lightsabers to spoil him with.
For me, Star Wars and family have always gone hand in hand. The films’ release may be humdrum news to some, but I can already feel the joy that will come with experiencing it all over again.