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Star Wars and Me
by Betty Jo Tucker

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a middle-aged movie addict was feeling down in the dumps because most of the films being released were very, very serious and gloomy. You’ve guessed it; I’m the movie addict in question. I wondered if filmmakers would ever get back on track and give me the kind of escapist entertainment I enjoyed so much while growing up -- movies like those old Flash Gordon serials and Robin Hood adventures.

Then one day in 1977, I went into a theater showing Star Wars and came out a changed person. The film I saw that afternoon brought back my childlike feeling of excitement and awe at the magic of the silver screen. I became so happy! My friends noticed the difference right away and wanted to know how it happened. “I owe it all to an incredible movie,” I explained.

Everything about Star Wars worked for me. I was blown away by its sensational special effects, extraordinary creatures and rousing background music. I became totally involved in the fun adventure story as well as an avid fan of its three brave protagonists. There were times I seemed to be right there in space with them. Granted, the battle between Good and Evil is serious business, but Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and especially Han Solo brought humor along with them on their remarkable Journey. What more could a movie addict like me ask for?                 

Speaking of Han Solo, one of my all-time favorite movie characters, I’ll be forever grateful to George Lucas for casting Harrison Ford as “the great rapscallion of the universe”  (Ford’s description of Solo). Before seeing Star Wars, I thought of Ford as a mediocre actor; after Star Wars, I jumped enthusiastically on the Ford bandwagon (or, I should say, starship). As Han Solo, he simply wowed me with his amusing cynical delivery and masculine charisma. 

Mae West once observed, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” That’s exactly the way I felt about Star Wars. And still do. I’ve enjoyed every one of the succeeding movies -- prequels included, because so far each one has provided enough visual spectacle, memorable characters and sci-fi action to fill my need for another Star Wars fix.

Needless to say, I can hardly wait to see Revenge of the Sith. What does it matter if this last Star Wars Episode, which focuses on how Anakin becomes Darth Vader, turns out to be dark and gloomy? I’ll always have Han Solo.

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