Include me out!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Include me out!

It was the year before I went on-air at WRCN-FM with "Waldo at the Movies," and knew little about "Star Wars" (since re-titled "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope") when it opened in May 1977, but my six-year old son Colin had heard enough that he wanted to see it.

Purely by happenstance, we were in Wantagh on the morning of the day following the movie's opening, and for reasons which now escape me, we wound up at the Hicks­ville theater on Broadway, sitting in a huge, mostly empty auditorium... this was before it was multiplexed into a dozen "screening room" sized theaters.

We'd just settled in when it started with:

Wow! Right out of the Buster Crabbe '30s sci-fi serials, "Flash Gordon" and "Buck Rogers," a pair of popular comic strip heroes released by Universal Picture!

I immediately settled in for, if nothing else, a nostalgic big budget, full-color re-imagining of some low budget black & white chapterplays.

Double wow! After the opening scene of the over-taking of the Rebel blockade runner by the enormous Imperial star destroyer, and the laser gun shoot-out between the out-manned Rebel force protecting Princess Leah and her cheese Danish coiffure from the boarding party of Galactic Empire stormtroopers led by the impressively sinister Darth Vader, I was scrunched down in my seat for the duration.

(If you've forgotten that part, here ya go!)

It was great, the intergalactic Buster Crabbe movie I'd been waiting almost 30 years to see!

Yeah, the C3PO and R2D2 droid characters running amok like a mechanical Abbott & Costello were annoying, but what fully locked me in was the rich detail of the almost "throw-a-way" exotic creatures in the outer space Mos Eisley Cantina scene... it was brilliant.

(When Obi-Wan Kenobi literally disarmed the bully at the bar with his light saber, I laughed aloud for sev­eral minutes.)

I loved the original and the first two sequels, but was so bored by the first of the pre-quels, 1999's "The Phantom Menace," I skipped its two follow-ups.

So, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" may be burning up box office records, and my oldest step-daughter (not yet five years old when the original was released) who reports that it was so good that she can't wait to see it again, but I'm out.

Such fond memories are not meant to be disturbed.


1. Lorelei said...

I remember seeing "Star Wars" and loving it. The three prequels did nothing for me.

I understand perfectly!
– Dean

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