Old Movie, New Eyes


I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the Star Wars films.  I know I saw the first one twenty-six times in the theatre (twenty-seven, if you count the updated version that was released in the nineties).  Given that I’ve see the original trilogy on cable, satellite and over the air, owned the original trilogy of films on videotape, Laserdisc and DVD, my guess is I’ve watched them a couple of hundred times.  I still enjoy watching them.  While I remember what it was like to see them for the first time at the theatre when I was a kid, like Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again”.

Many months might pass between viewings and the details get hazy in my recollection.  I might laugh a bit at a snippet of dialogue I don’t have committed to memory.  Every so often, I catch a new detail in the background.  One of the nice things about HDTV is there are a lot of details I haven’t seen since I saw it in the theatre.  Still, I know how the movies will end.  I know whether or not the rebels will take out the Death Star before it targets the rebel base.  I know if Han Solo will get out of the carbonite.  I know who Luke Skywalker’s father is.

However, it dawned on me Daniel hadn’t seen them before.  He had sat with me a couple of times, here and there, watching snippets of one of the films.  The last time they were on television though, he sat down on the couch with me as the Imperial Star Destroyer pulled Princess Leia’s ship into its innards.  I watched with him as the droids escaped and met up with the Jawas on Tattooine.  By the end of the film, he was sitting straight up on the couch, not daring to blink as not to miss a moment.  While it’s true; it’s never the same the second time around, I enjoyed it more with Daniel than I had in a long time.  Frankly, watching him and his reactions was more fun than the movie itself.

I can’t wait to watch him find out who Luke Skywalker’s father is.

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