In 1995, when I was five years old, I remember going on a long road trip. We had a TV in our car that had a VHS player attached to it. We had a small trunk that had a few movies in it. I remember opening this trunk and seeing something I wasn’t supposed to. A surprise from my parents. It was three movies. I was told that I could only watch them if I behaved.
That year I had my fifth birthday party at a small horse farm in Tallahassee called Happy Trails the only items on my list were STAR WARS TOYS. People delivered my request in such a way I got duplicates.
I remember Santa bringing me Star Wars figures on Christmas morning.
Two years later I remember my dad taking me to the theaters over the span of a few weeks. They had rereleased the films and I got to see them on the big screen for the first time.
I remember in 1999 going to New York and FAO Schwarz, this glorious toy store, being filled to the brink with toys for a NEW Star Wars movie.
I remember going to the theater and being blown away by the special effects. POD Racing! A lightsaber that had two blades! A character named Jar Jar Binks that I would quote to no end.
I remember my dad and I going to Toys R Us the day the action figures came out and hunting down the Yoda.
I remember having a big argument with my dad and him bringing me Star Wars toys because he felt bad.
I remember my dad helping paint my face to look like Darth Maul for an East Hill costume contest. And I remember WINNING.
I remember being teased in Middle School and bonding with a teacher over our love for Star Wars.
I remember finally making friends and pulling up to a school trip at 4 in the morning in my dads new truck with AMAZING sound system and at FULL BLAST playing the Star Wars theme to let people know I had arrived.
I remember losing all of those friends. (Hahaha no, we’re good.)
I remember driving to every Burger King in Tallahassee with my parents and collecting all the toys they released for their meals.
I remember opening night in 2005 inviting my teacher out to the movies with my family. Waiting in line to enter the theater at Governors Square Mall for what was the “final” chapter of the most beloved saga of all time.
I remember being devastated that it was over.
I remember going to Star Wars weekends at Disney and meeting cast members. My brother getting me Chewbaccas autograph. Buying Darth Vader helmets at the beach and riding around with my friends on bicycles waving our red lightsabers in the air! Making friends in college over Star Wars movie nights. Marathons. Jokes. Dates. May the 4th be with you. Going with my Young Life guys to Star Wars weekend.
I remember talking with my roommates in college about how sad it was that I would never be able to take my kid to an opening night of Star Wars.
And I remember the next day the announcement that they were making MORE.
And I, my nerdy Star Wars friends, will remember today.
Because as the posters for The Force Awakens read, “Every generation has a story.”
Mine just happens to be riddled with tales from a galaxy far, far away.