From the time I was watching black-and-white Buck Rodgers features on my TV as a kid, I have loved science fiction movies and television shows-wires and cheesy special effects and all.
My parents divorced when I was 10 years old and my brother was 5. My dad got us every other weekend. With the hours he had worked, he didn’t know how to entertain us for a whole weekend. So, between the ages of 10 and 18 I must have seen every movie that came out. All the Bond movies, from Connery to Moore. An all-day viewing of all the Planet of the Apes movies in a little Berkeley movie house. Every movie Woody Allen made. I don’t think there is a horror movie of the ’70s I missed. LOL
Then in 1977 something magical happened. Star Wars. My brother and I saw it 35 times that summer, sometimes staying until after the credits to watch the next showing. I’ve tried over the years to explain to my children what Star Wars meant to science fiction fans. The special effects were so well done that you didn’t notice the special effects. You could be wrapped up in the story without looking for wires or noticing it was a model of a spaceship. When the landspeeder swept over the sands of Tatooine, you believed. When Luke and Leia swung over that infinity drop on the Star Destroyer, you held your breath. George Lucas, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2D2 transported us to a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and we’ve stayed there for 40+ years.
This week, I went with my scifi movie buddy, my son, now almost 30 years old to see the latest episode, The Rise of Skywalker. I cried at every familiar face. I laughed at the creatures that only existed in the writers minds until they appeared as if by magic on the screen. I was once more swept away to that galaxy far, far away.
I wasn’t at the movies. I was on an adventure to save the galaxy!
Jill James, romance writer and movie fan.