Written by: Mel Perez
There’s a scene in A New Hope – Luke stands outside of his home watching the two suns sink beneath Tatooine’s horizon. John Williams’ score swells in the background. That’s the moment I fell in love with Star Wars. It’s a love that’s lasted a little over two decades. On May 25, 1977, Star Wars was released in theaters. Forty years later not only is it still loved by fans worldwide, but it’s also gaining more fans every day with the release of new movies, comics, books, and games.
My memories of Star Wars are marathons of the VHS tapes and later the DVDs, spending my meager allowance on the latest books and skipping school to see the Phantom Menace because it came out on my birthday. For years, every time I saw the Lucasfilm logo, I immediately felt a jolt of excitement. I remember watching the teaser trailer for The Force Awakens. Holed up in my office, door closed to avoid any interruptions. I didn’t anticipate how much I would be affected by it. Seeing Finn, a black character who was also a lead and then seeing Han on board the Millennium Falcon. “Chewie, we’re home,” he said, and I broke down crying. Sobbing as if someone I knew died. This thing I loved was back. These characters I loved were back. I’ve always been inspired by Luke’s idealism, Leia’s strength, and Han’s loyalty. Now I can add Finn’s courage and Rey’s tenacity. Star Wars is and probably always will be a big part of my life.
Here’s memory from BGN writer, Kai Charles:
“I saw Star Wars in a neighborhood theater. The theater was around the corner from my house and was a special place to me for many reasons, mostly because I could walk there with my friends without ever crossing the street, which was still something I wasn’t allowed to do alone.
I don’t remember the name of the theater. It’s long closed, but if I close my eyes, I can still remember the one screen theater, its crisp air conditioning, and sticky floors.
I went with two of my friends, and when the Death Star exploded, my first thoughts were I can’t wait to see this again.
I was the only one in my neighborhood it affected so deeply. Every Saturday I would sit in awe, reliving my favorite scenes.”
BGN writer, Eva Brown, said of seeing A New Hope:
“I was around six, and soon after that my yellow checks themed bedroom was replaced with Star Wars, including my bath towel and washcloth. Nerd ever since.
For so many of us, Star Wars was our introduction to fandom. Whether you watched it in the theater or on your TV, as a kid or as an adult, something in this universe touched you. Here’s to another 40 years of space battles, the light and the dark, strong heroes, frightening villains, heartbreak, and joy.”