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Journal of gratitude, entry #19: Star Wars
Han Solo
theamyrlin
I'm very glad that I've made a list of all the things I'm grateful for ahead of time. Today is Day #19. I'm grateful for Star Wars.

I've had some hard times in my life, just like everyone has. I've had two main trials tax me. One happened when I was 16, on the other happened when I was nearly 19, and still continues to test me on a near daily basis. What has helped me get through these tough times? Star Wars.

I saw Star Wars for the first time on January 31, 1997. I was 16 1/2 and going through some horrible emotional trauma at that time. It was the revised version they showed at the theater. I thought it was pretty cool to see it for the first time on the big screen, even with all of the modifications that were made. I can still remember all the suspense I had as I watched the space battle of the Death Star for the first time. Anyhow, after that, I knew that Star Wars was going to be a big part of my life. I borrowed the original trilogy on VHS from a friend. I spent the next two or three months watching the trilogy (all three movies) on a near daily (actually, nightly) basis. Within one month, I had the movies pretty much memorized.

For me, the worst part of the day is actually the night. I don't like sleeping, and I never have. (Just ask my mom; even as a baby, I hated doing it.) I understand that it's a necessity, but that doesn't really make it easier for me. Especially right after I broke up with someone who was incredibly important to me, the nighttime just meant endless obsessing over everything I could have done that I didn't do, or that I could have done better, or thinking about all the good times, and being depressed that that part of my life was over, and basically torturing myself. However, with Star Wars in the picture, I no longer had to obsess about the bad stuff. I could obsess about Star Wars instead.

After my accident, sleeping was also really hard for me. In the hospital, they had a TV and VCR in my room. My grandma sent me a tape with all three movies on one. I would have someone put it in the VCR when it was time to go sleep. Before Luke left Tattooine, I would be lulled into a comforting sleep. If I woke during the night, I would watch until the gentle hum of light sabers sang me back to sleep. After Return of the Jedi was over, I would wake, and then I would have someone push play after the tape rewound.

Now, if I have a bad day, I will nearly always put Star Wars on in the background to listen to at night. Sometimes, even if I'm not having a particularly bad day, I will still put it on. Sometimes, if I feel like torturing myself, I will even watch Phantom Menace, but I generally don't watch the other prequels to be soothed. In fact, I pretty much only watch them with my nephew after he asks.

But, Star Wars' appeal to me is not just based on the fact that it can put me to sleep during painful emotional times. I also really like the story a lot. I love the characters, and I love just about everything about it. I even love the stuff that's stupid about it, like how Leia said she somehow always knew that Luke was her brother even though she kissed him on purpose twice in the previous two movies. Or like how Luke was more broken up about the death of Ben Kenobi, a guy he knew for about 28 minutes, than he was about the death of his uncle and aunt who had raised him from a baby. Or how Leia was actually comforting Luke after the death of Ben, when she had just barely lost EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING ON HER ENTIRE PLANET. It's not bothersome to me; it's just amusing. I even like how Ewoks can defeat storm troopers with such primitive weaponry. They've got the home-court advantage, guys. Don't hate on the Ewoks. Being into Star Wars helps me to find joy in life. I love watching people make fun of it (in a lighthearted way), and I love being able to instill my passion for the movies on to the next generation -- my nephew and nieces.

I've also learned some really important lessons from Star Wars. Like how it's a bad idea to narc on someone (Greedo). Or how being related to someone, even if he is the evilest guy in the galaxy, somehow makes him redeemable. Anyhow, there's other stuff in there, too that's deeper than the surface stuff I just covered. Good story, good message, great movies. It's helped me through some dark times, and it's made some good times great.


Here, my sweet little nephew and niece having a light saber duel.


For my birthday a couple of years ago, I had a Star Wars party. Here I am dressed up like Queen Amidala.


Here are some of my awesome friends who dressed up at my party: Chris, Cecilia and Megan.