A Love Affair Long Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

JudithphotoBy Judith Kristen, AAP Columnist

My magnum opus to love in the month of February generally has but two themes: my permanent crush on my husband, Andrew, or my ongoing romance with the Beatles over the last 52 years.

This time it’s different. This time, my friends, it’s a “Star Wars” thing.

Yup. A “Star Wars” thing.

Although Andrew is definitely the sci-fi nerd in the house, when it comes to “Star Wars,” we’re pretty much on equal footing.

When the first film debuted in 1977, my original plan was to take my son Jon to see it. He loved that kinda stuff. And so, not long after the film’s release, it happened. And it was a WOW for a seven-year-old boy that’s for sure; but for me, the movie found a surprisingly enchanting way to ring all of my bells and whistles. Of course, Harrison Ford may have had something to do with that, but… I digress.

I recall as the theater darkened and the words, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away” appearing on the screen, followed by that amazing fanfare by John Williams. You knew something amazing was about to happen. And then the introduction for the movie scrolled out in that old 1930s film style. I was totally hooked just from reading it – and I hadn’t even seen Harrison’s face yet!

Prior to “Star Wars,” my mainstay in film was: Neil Simon/Woody Allen comedies, lively romances, flights of fantasy, magical stuff, and the standard good versus evil. And then I found all of that in a 121-minute film called “Star Wars.” One stop shopping!

If you’ve never seen the original, here’s the basic storyline of that moment in the history of the cinema where a billion “Star Wars” fans were created:

Under direct orders from the merciless, evil, and breathy-voiced Darth Vader (God bless James Earl Jones), Imperial forces ruthlessly capture and hold Princess Leia hostage in their efforts to crush the rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

Enter Luke Skywalker and Han Solo (my heartthrob, Harrison Ford), who join together with an old “wizard” named Obi-Wan Kenobi and the charming droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, assist the Rebel Alliance, and then gloriously re-establish freedom, rightfulness, and justice to the Galaxy.

Now I won’t get into subsequent “Star Wars” films and take this column to 38 pages in length, but I will say that in those movies to follow, I totally adored Yoda and I loathed Jabba the Hutt; I also thought everyone should have a friend like Chewbacca and a boyfriend like Harrison Ford. Did I mention him before? I did, didn’t I?

Back then, we all heard how this film was nothing close to Stanley Kubrick’s Sci-Fi masterpiece, “2001;” and that this new George Lucas film was total folly. But, it’s been almost 40 years now since that first release back in May of ‘77 and Star Wars has stood the test of time, proving itself once again with its latest in the saga, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” released this past holiday season.

I would LOVE to tell you all that happened in the new film. However I was warned “no spoilers” from my boss, Frank Sinatra, even though only about seven of you haven’t seen the film.

Nevertheless, I can say that old characters return, new ones are introduced impeccably and the combination of old and new is seamless.

Adding to my enjoyment of the new movie was seeing kids ages six to 96 lined up and ready join together in the magic that this film has to offer: a well written storyline, engaging characters, fabulous action that sweeps you away, a tender, long time love, a new romance in the making, and technology in cinema like no other to date.

And so, speaking for a billion “Star Wars” fans out there, I must say that we are forever grateful to George Lucas – and now J.J. Abrams as well. Their vision left an imprint in our hearts that will never be diminished by time or distance… or even in another galaxy far, far away.

Peace and love… and may the Force be with you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


P.S. And Harrison Ford still looks good!

Judith Kristen is a Pennsauken-based author and animal rights activist who stalked George Harrison of the Beatles before it was illegal. For more information about her work, visit JudithKristen.com.

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