It was 30 years ago this past Friday that Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters.   I remember when the first Star Wars movie came out, my folks asking me if I wanted to see "Star Wars."  I was almost 7-years old at the time and I remember saying the words "I don’t want to see a bunch of  STARS having WARS."  Then my mom showed me the news paper ad and showed me that there were robots and spaceships and other things that I’d enjoy.  They eventually talked me into it and we went that night to see the movie that changed my life.   I think a lot of us have that same story.  I was hooked.  I got the early bird set for Christmas that year and begged my parents for everything Star Wars related for the next ten years. I had all of the figures, all of the ships, all of the playsets and had already ordered FIVE of the Boba Fett preview figures in the mail.   I didn’t know who he was, but I had a lot of proofs-of-purchase so I was going to use them!

Cut to thirty years ago this past week the NEXT chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Empire Strikes Back was released in theaters and it was ALL I could focus on.  I HAD to see that movie.  I’m not sure that I even needed to see a movie that bad before or since.  It was imperative.  I had watched the Star Wars Holiday Special and it gave us a little more of that world to tide us over… but it wasn’t quite the same…

I was almost 9-years old at that point and my parents took my brother and I too our first 10:00pm movie- opening day.  We went to the Southroads Twin, which had one of the biggest screens in town and a robust sound system.  We arrived at the theater several hours early my day got tickets and we waited in line.  God bless my folks for agreeing to do that.  I’m sure they could have cared less if they never saw "part 2" of  Star Wars, but they knew how much it meant to me and my brother.  So they waited as the sun went down in a line full of fans.   We were 3rd in line for the 10:00 show.  They bought me the official program (I still have it) and we finally got inside and got some seats.  

You know what happens next: Lights dim, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….", Hoth, Imperial Walkers, Dagobah, Yoda, Cloud City, Boba Fett, Carbonite, Paternity Reveal ,Cliffhanger…   my mind was blown!    I saw it all on opening day.   No spoilers for me on the playground.  But now I had to wait HOW LONG to find out what happens next?   What happens next.. that would be the topic of discussion for the next 2 years.

Thanks mom and dad for helping to fuel the fire.  And thanks to the cast and crew of The Empire Strikes Back.   That was movie magic, the likes of which I have rarely seen again.


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