Last night I discovered that the new trailer for Star Wars The Force Awakens had landed on the internet and watched it as soon as I had a chance. Now, know that in this post you’ll find no speculation, rumors, or even in-depth analysis of the trailer, I’d just like to talk about Star Wars for a minute.
I didn’t grow up watching these movies in the same way a lot of people did. My parents were not fans, and I didn’t grow up in a house full of Star Wars stuff or even copies of the movies on VHS or DVD. When I was 13 or 14 my best friend told me I needed to see these movies in anticipation of Revenge of the Sith coming out in theaters. I borrowed DVDs, watched them at his house, and I fell in love. I had always been a reader, but I had never experienced a world quite like the one in Star Wars.
This was all before my obsession and love of movies developed. Actually, I suppose, my love of movies really grew out of my love of Star Wars. This might seem silly, but at the time I simply wanted to know everything about Star Wars that I could. Then I found a making of documentary called The Making of an Empire which was about the production of the original trilogy. I devoured it and there discovered filmmaking. There was someone behind the camera — someone calling the shots and making decisions about the story, characters, and world that is on display in a movie.
Then and there I decided: I want to do that.
From there I discovered other movies. First things like Star Wars: Indiana Jones, Batman, and other big, spectacle Hollywood films, but then I started finding other things: Akira Kurosawa, Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, and others. The movies I loved grew varied and wide, and I developed an affinity for foreign films and art films. In terms of taste I moved away from Hollywood and its glamor and discovered a more earth-toned cinema full of people that felt and looked real.
For a long time Star Wars was just that thing in my past that pointed me in a direction of creativity, and I assumed that my life with Star Wars was basically over until one day I had children and could share the films with them. But then I heard the news, and trailers and screenshots began leaking out to the world in a trickle of information: then I saw the trailer last night.
Suddenly I’m reminded why Star Wars means something to me.
I remember the spectacle it brought into my imagination, and how it awakened a creative mind. Star Wars made a young boy want to tell stories to people. I want to tell people stories. Ultimately that is what Star Wars did for me, and today I realized this: there is a new generation of 10, 11, and 12 year olds that will see this new movie and its coming sequels. Many of these children will walk away from the film untouched, unmoved, and simply waiting for the next big Hollywood spectacle movie, but some will walk away with something more.
December 17th, 2015 might just be the day some young kid decides that he wants to tell people stories. He knows the wonder that this movie brings him and he wants to share it with the world: he wants to evoke that wonder in others.
I feel like I’m a little kid again, discovering the joy of being told a story.