Friday, March 15, 2013

30 Years

A post on another blog pointed out that this marks the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi.  And it got me to thinking where I was at the time, and what life was like in my early teens. 

When ROTJ came out, I was 12 years old, and living with my grandparents in Northern California while my mom completed Basic and Tech School for the Air Force.  I had already seen the previous two Star Wars films in the theater, and when my mom came to visit on leave before she went to Okinawa, she took me to see the third film.

I was in junior high at the time, and in the throes of many forces of nature.  Aside from the obvious puberty that was beating the crap out of me, I was also developing a love of science fiction and fantasy, mainly through playing D&D and watching TV (mostly Saturday morning cartoons).  However, also during this period, I got to go to the theater by myself for the first time.  I remember it was at the mall in Concord, CA (the theater is no longer there, though the mall seems to have doubled in size).  The movie was Rocky III.

I had only ever seen bits of the first Rocky on TV, so I was only vaguely familiar with it.  At this point, I'm not even sure what motivated me to go see it.  Probably the novelty of being allowed to see a movie by myself.  Little did I know what an impact that movie would have.  Not only did it plant the seed of hero-worship for Stallone (that is going strong to this day), but it also introduced me to boxing and fighting.  As a skinny nerd who was constantly picked on, this was huge.  And I can honestly attribute watching this film on video dozens of times to me winning my one and only fist fight, in 9th grade.

So, anyways, it's been 30 years since the summer of 1983.  At the time there were many things I hadn't discovered or experienced yet that would later mold and shape much of my life.  Things like the works of Robert E. Howard, Star Trek (beyond TOS), Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and of course, Girls (I had discovered them, I just hadn't experienced them yet).  Interestingly, these would all become part of my lexicon within the next two years, and each one is still with me.

But, all that being said, my first Geek Love has always been the Star Wars films.  So, I think maybe it's time to re-watch the Original Trilogy.  I have the re-releases on DVD (where Han shot second, ugh!), so those will have to suffice; my VHS tapes of the original cuts are long gone, as far as I know.  Sydney has seen them, and enjoys them, but I think it's time to introduce Connor to Star Wars.  I was six when I saw the first one in the theater, and he's four and a half.  Close enough.


Paul R. McNamee said...


I think I better stick to "Return of the Jedi was a movie of my youth," rather than "Return of the Jedi was 30 years ago!!"

Charles Gramlich said...

I certainly liked the original three movies. I was a bigger fan of Star Trek but I liked Star Wars quite a lot