Star Wars has been a part of my life literally since I was a baby. Each movie has provided me experiences that I will never forget and today, on May the 4th, I figured it would be a great time to share those experiences with you. Enjoy!
The Phantom Menace
My mother and father always tell me of how when I was roughly one-years-old they went to see The Phantom Menace and of course, they took me as well. As a silent infant in the movie theaters I was most often either sleep or breastfeeding but they always say how my attention was drawn to the movie screen when something important was happening. It is a bold testament to how Star Wars has managed to wow me since before even I can remember.
Attack of the Clones
I didn’t go to see this movie in the movie theaters but as a child I remember watching this film over and over again, dazzled by the fantastical worlds and Obi-Wan’s top-secret mission that was always so fascinating. In my youth, what I remember standing out the most was Obi-Wan’s confrontations with Jango Fett on Kamino and in the asteroid belt surrounding Kamino. Those were my favorite scenes to watch and even now, those scenes still stand tall as some of the best moments in the entire franchise.
Revenge of the Sith
A little older, my parents took me and my sister to see Revenge of the Sith in the movie theaters. I don’t remember much but I can still recall the bold colors of lava bubbling on the big screen as Anakin and Obi-Wan duked it out in a lightsaber duel of the ages. I also remember crying when Padme died, which was a bit surprising considering that I wasn’t a fan of her character, even as a child. It was still tremendously sad though and as we walked out into the night to go back to our car it was very apparent that I had witnessed one of the best Star Wars movies of all time.
The original trilogy is a whole different story of movie experiences that I’ve had with this franchise. Growing up, we didn’t own the original trilogy, at least…not for a while. When we finally did obtain Episodes V, VI, and IV (we got the movies in that order) it was like stepping into a larger world.
The Empire Strikes Back
I still remember watching The Empire Strikes Back. I was sitting in my parents’ bedroom watching the film with the lights turned out movie theater style. I stared at the screen in genuine awe as I watched a story unfold that I vaguely knew but had never seen before. There was romance and incredible action scenes. Jaw-dropping moments and fantastical worlds. When it concluded it was very clear that I had seen the best Star Wars movie, at that time.
Return of the Jedi
I don’t remember much when watching Return of the Jedi for the first time. There are, however, moments that I will never forget, such as the incredible escape from Jabba’s Barge, Yoda’s death, but mainly I do recall the anxiety I felt when Luke Skywalker had to face Palpatine.
I didn’t know what would happen. Would Luke Skywalker die? Oh, it was so stressful. Thankfully he didn’t and the Rebellion won. Yay!
A New Hope
After watching The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, A New Hope was fun but the experience wasn’t nearly as memorable. I do remember, however, being appalled by the lightsaber duel between Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader. After seeing so many legendary duels, the duel was very underwhelming in comparison.
The Force Awakens
Five years ago, The Force Awakens would enter theaters. It was an amazing time in my life. I never thought I’d ever get to see a new Star Wars movie. Disney made my wish come true and after early reviews of the film depicted a fun, adventurous experience with the newest addition to the Skywalker Saga I couldn’t be more pumped to see this brand new story on the big screen.
To say that I had one of the best movie theater experiences of my entire life is an understatement. I laughed and cheered inwardly, I gazed in awe and felt, at times, slivers of horror. And boy oh boy, did I cry my eyes out.
Walking out of that movie theater with red eyes and an absolutely distraught expression, I was a bit upset that Han died but it wasn’t long before I would realize I had seen the best Star Wars movie in years. I went to see it with my family an additional four times at the movie theaters.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
In 2016 I would be introduced to the first ever Star Wars Story. To be honest, I was skeptical about the film’s chances of being good. I mean, a story that didn’t focus on the Skywalkers or the struggle between the Jedi and the Sith? That was odd. However, as I sat on the near bottom row of the movie theater (the theater was packed!) craning my neck to see the giant screen in front of me, it wasn’t long before I would realize this was one of the best Star Wars movies ever made. In fact, it would become my favorite Star Wars film of all time.
The dark theme of Rogue One was gripping, the noise of the IMAX theater was astounding, and the final fifteen minutes of the movie left me stunned, in a good way. Specifically the moment that Darth Vader appeared onscreen in a blaze of crimson glory. It was a remarkable evening that I’ll never forget.
The Last Jedi
Watching The Last Jedi was an entirely different roller coaster. The story left me wanting more and not entirely in a good way. There were certain aspects that I LOVED such as the Praetorian Guards and the epic scene that they would be a part of, Snoke’s death was unexpected and perfect in the context of Kylo’s story development, Luke Skywalker’s mirage trick was legendary and caused me to clap with expected enthusiasm when first watching it, however there were also elements I wasn’t fond of.
I’m talking about DJ and Poe’s storyline, Leia’s use of the Force, and the Canto Bight sequence. However, upon my second viewing, it was as if I was seeing an entirely different movie and suddenly I began to understand the brilliance behind The Last Jedi.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
To celebrate my twentieth birthday I decided to go see Solo, a film that I wasn’t entirely thrilled to see but would ultimately love. I loved the classic feel of the movie. It was a plain adventure film riddled with awesome action scenes, lovable characters, and eye-catching worlds. When I walked out of that theater I was very, very pleased with the choice I made.
The Rise of Skywalker
Being a Star Wars fan means that one takes each film very seriously. It’s unfortunate to say that The Rise of Skywalker is my least favorite movie experience of this list. The film, after several viewings, has managed to grow on me, but after my first viewing, I wasn’t even distraught. I was angry. Angry that a story that I had grown to love so much, characters that I had invested in wholeheartedly, had been reduced to shells of greatness beneath a clearly lazy facade.
J.J Abrams, in one fell swoop, annihilated the franchise’s most important values and made a film that I ultimately didn’t agree with on any level. Even the greatest Star Wars villain of all time, Emperor Palpatine, had been turned into a joke in my eyes.
However, like I said before, my more recent viewings of the film have painted a different picture. One that makes me genuinely happy at times. No, the movie isn’t perfect, but at the end of the day it possesses what every Star Wars movie has always had, a story filled with heroes and villains that manages to bring families together on beautiful evenings to bond with one another.
One day, I will have a new movie experience to share with you. For now, May the 4th be with you!
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.