Today’s assignment: Now Tweet the plot of the original Star Wars
If you lived in the tri-state area around New York City in the summer of 1977, saying it was an eventful time was an understatement. There was Son of Sam, heat waves, a massive blackout and disco blared from radios and dance clubs. And amazing first run movies.
I had just finished my first year of high school, and my first year in the public education system since kindergarten, having gone to a Lutheran parochial school for eight years. It had been a rough transition, but I had formed several solid friendships over the course of the school year. Too young for the clubs, we spent most of our time listening to music and going to see movies. The year had a bumper crop and I remember watching Close Encounters, The Goodbye Girl, Saturday Night Fever, High Anxiety, Wizards, The Turning Point…the list is long. Every week, whatever money I wasn’t squirreling away for more vinyl records went to sitting in a movie theater with a friend or two, munching on popcorn. But the most memorable movie for me was Star Wars.
Most of the movie theaters of my youth were cavernous beasts, usually plopped down in the middle of a strip mall. Unlike today, unless the movie was a complete bomb, theaters would run a movie for months, since moving a theatrical release to DVD (or even VHS) was not an economic reality. My local viewing option for George Lucas’ epic was the old Emerson movie theater, which sadly is long gone. It was located in a shopping center next to a bowling alley, which my mother admonished me to NEVER GO INTO AFTER THE MOVIE. (I think she was concerned about under aged drinking and the clientele within).
I saw Star Wars no less than four times that summer. For some reason, none of my friends could get their acts together and see it as a group. I happily plunked down the $2 for a matinee four times over, though. I loved the film, and by summer’s end had an enormous teenage crush on Harrison Ford. I have never seen any of the other films beyond the original three, but they remain among some of my favorite cinema events of my teenage years and early twenties.
But back to the original assignment.
Urged by a Princess, Luke joins a Jedi, Hans Solo, a Wookie, and some droids to save the galaxy from Darth Vader and destroy a death star.
And that simple plot made the summer of 1977 complete.