May the 4th Be With You

Star Wars Day is celebrated by nerds around the world today. I have actually celebrated in Disneyland at least once, maybe twice. I bought an R2D2 hat with Mickey ears. Doug was with me. It was one of my StuCo Leadership trips.

Before Star Wars Day became a thing, there was just Star Wars. When I think of Star Wars, it’s hard not to have an immediate tie to my brother. He is the reason I have my link to the fandom. He introduced me as a kid to Darth Vader. We played with the neighbors scenes from all the movies. In all those variations, I got to be the bad-ass Princess Leia.

I would bother my mom to put buns on the side of my head. I would go to school like that for days at a time. My mom really didn’t do it right, but she did the best she could. I wanted real princess buns but what I got was braids and some bobby pins.

Tom got to be a Jedi Master and I got to have a blaster. In our back yard we would hide from Darth Vader and escape behind trees. We would tunnel through the treehouse and go down the fire escape. Tom would use the force to open the door (the wind would swing it open) and we would run through the house and fight the Storm Trooper and join with the Rebels in the front yard with the other neighbor kids.

Tom and I would draw out scenes from the movies on paper. My mom saved a drawing he did when he was little of C3PO and R2D2. I have it framed with a bunch of pictures of him in my hallway. A tribute to my brother. But again, I’m tied to him and Star Wars.

As we got older, and the films were remastered and released in theatres again. We did not see all of them together. We only saw Return of the Jedi together. I don’t recall the sequence of events. I think they remastered and re-released the movies right before they were releasing the prequels.

Anyway, they ran a marathon at a movie house and Tom when to watch all the movies by himself. He was able to lay down in the theatre across the seats by moving the arm rests up. He said he was cozy and was the only one there.

I tried to take Patrick to see A New Hope and he talked and talked like a loud mouth and I had to drag him out of the theatre. He wouldn’t stop talking. If there’s one pet peeve of mine, it’s bad movie manners. I refuse to ruin someone’s movie experience with a bad kid. I was very upset but I left.

When the prequels came out, we all went to see them. Tom and I enjoyed them for what they were but they didn’t compare to the originals. It also didn’t stop us from buying them when they were released on video. Jar Jar annoyed both of us.

Tom when further into Star Wars lore than I did. He read many of the novels that were released about the Star Wars saga. He would tell me things that I had no idea about. He always said that they would make more movies. There was more material that they could do so much more with.

My boys would go over to Uncle Tommy’s house and play. Tom bought light sabers from somewhere. He had several. They were mostly for display but he let the boys play with them. The boys would have epic battles and use the force to throw each other back into the couches.

Tom took a picture of Jesse at around five years old. He’s holding Yoda’s light saber. Jesse’s got a wide stance and is holding one hand forward, fingers spread wide commanding the force. He is yelling, mouth open. It’s a great picture. I don’t know where it is. It must be somewhere in Tom’s belongings. Lost with time.

The four of us watched Star Wars together. It was bonding time.

When Tom passed and the new Star Wars was coming out. It was difficult for me to see. I was excited as a fan but sad my brother would not see it. I was sad, I would not share in this epic, final journey with my brother that we started on together.

I was lucky enough on opening night to see each of the last three movies with my friend Matt. We had a good time and I felt good sharing that event with him. He’s a fan and a movie buff.

The further time takes me away from my brother the further I am from knowing what he would have though about the final installments of the movies. I have grown in my opinions about the movies. Would he have also changed his mind or remained a purist? I like to think he would have been a purist and a snob about the whole thing. That’s my opinion.

I miss my brother. I miss that he doesn’t get to see that May the 4th has become a staple in fandom nerds unite place in history. I’d like to think he would be down to celebrate May the 4th by watching a marathon of the movies. In lock down, we could zoom and review them together after watching. I’d like to think we would do that.

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