Escape Now, Hug Later: The Nostalgia Awakens

Old people rejoice! This Star Wars is for us.

Much has already been said of The Force Awakens, the heralded return to form of the once-fading Star Wars franchise, so I’ll keep this short and about me. But first, I’d like to dole out one quick Medal of Bravery, Leia-style: J.J. Abrams should be enshrined in the French Legion of Honor, or whatever the U.S. equivalent might be. Honorary Pink’s Hot Dogs employee of the month?

Look, I’m not the biggest geek around. After the movie, my wife asked me a lot of questions I couldn’t answer. But I was there in the world in 1977, a four-year-old sitting on duct-taped-together carpet squares in a tiny bedroom slathered with Pac-Man wallpaper, playing with Darth Vader and his extendable light saber. Amazing technology! It came out of his arm! And it always got bent. I should have never opened it.

Most American people have a story about a disappointing Christmas, the one where the bike or the doll or the Lego set did not magically appear, rendering Santa indifferent and nonexistent. We didn’t have time for our parents’ explanations about reality and lost jobs and too much drinking. We wanted the damn Millennium Falcon and we didn’t get it, and that’s all that mattered. It’s still all that matters, you lousy failed parents. You should still be ashamed.

Reality does exist, and as time moves on, diabolical forces awaken. Parents get sick, impossibly and chillingly sick, and we’re too far, far away to do much about it. Jobs do get lost, and Austrian authorities do send us 300 euro fines for not displaying 8 euro toll stickers, seven months after we visit their glorious and soul-crushing bureaucratic wonderland. I digress.

For a little over two hours last night, I didn’t care about anything except what was on a movie screen. Pardon the lachrymose pile of stinky cheese, but that’s what movies are supposed to do. I have to see it again so I can better answer my wife’s questions, but more so because The Force Awakens shot me back to boyhood at light speed, enraptured by the memories of everything I did have and so dearly miss.






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