Star Wars Memories

My sister is talented. Not only in her writing ability, but in her life ability. She’s been able to overcome so many things in her life and has conquered many more. Part of her healing process is to write and when she does she illustrates so well what its like to be her. So, when I asked her if shed write a nostalgic piece about this t-shirt I’d found, I was ecstatic when she said, “yes!”

My sister with her 1983 Return of the Jedi t-shirt :)

My sister with her 1983 Return of the Jedi t-shirt 🙂

Without further ado:

The summer I turned nine years old was not particularly memorable, looking back. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. My siblings and I spent the sweat-soaked Oklahoma days making our own fun: catching toads to save them from the sadistic little boy down the street, who had a penchant for throwing them into the outdoor air conditioning fans. When we weren’t adding to our amphibious menagerie we were running around the neighborhood with friends, looking for Bigfoot in the hills behind our house, or working with our father on the family home he was building just outside of town. We didn’t expect much from life, and most of the time we were right not to.

Every day was much like the last, until, out of the vast reaches of a faraway land known as Hollywood, there came something that worked like a shaft of brilliance into our black and white days. One day, my brother was invited to a birthday party. The entire passel of ten year old boys trooped off to see something called Star Wars. When he came back home, he was changed. Altered in his DNA somehow. Full of excitement, he tried to relate to us, his younger siblings, just how incredible this thing was that he had seen, but it would never do. We had to see it for ourselves.

So, one sweltering afternoon, my mother carted us to the cinema to see for ourselves this phenomenon that was sweeping the country. The line of people waiting to get in wrapped around the shopping center, all the way to the double doors of the Safeway grocery store.

The world was black and white back then

The world was black and white back then

Everyone was abuzz. I could feel the mounting excitement as the line began to move, and within the hour I was plunged into an experience that would forever change my expectations when it came to movies, and life in general.

Epic space battles and fantastical creatures came to life before my eyes. The line between real and fantasy was forever blurred. An adorable young desert-dweller known as Luke Skywalker churned my wee burgeoning heart into knots. By the time I left the theater, my imagination was set afire. Who was to say what lay just beyond the reaches of my own, small life? Like Luke, perhaps I had a destiny that belied my modest beginnings.

I saw Star Wars more than once, and when The Empire Strikes Back came out I did the same. The wait for each one to be released was interminable, yet the reward was so, so sweet. I developed the world’s largest crush on Luke Skywalker and his poor, orphaned soul, spent hours daydreaming about meeting Mark Hamill, had posters of him papering my walls.

By the time Return of the Jedi appeared, Star Wars was a Brogdingnagian enterprise whose effects were felt around the world. My anticipation for how the series would wrap up was through the roof. Would someone die? Would Luke defeat Vader once and for all? Would Leia and Han put aside misunderstandings and get it together?

I was not disappointed. The movie appealed to me on every conceivable level and I went home feeling as satisfied as if I had just dined on a seven course gourmet meal. I saw it again and again.

It’s funny to think that something as simple as a T-shirt could bring so much happiness, but as I wear my Return of the Jedi T-shirt from Holy Idea Tees, I am reminded of simpler days and the genuine joy that comes from something as wondrous as spellbinding story. I can imagine that I am that young girl again who didn’t mind sweating for an hour in a line that stretched around the block to sit in a darkened theater and forget about her mundane life for a while.

After all, in a galaxy far, far away, Luke was waiting.

Thanks for the guest spot sis 🙂 Love you 🙂

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