Another May 4 has come and gone and I just couldn’t wish anyone a Happy Star Wars Day.
It would have felt forced.
Yeah, as the pun suggests, I’m also a dad. A dad who happens to be a fairly avid Star Wars fan. Not the kind who could be bothered with, or cares much about memorizing the franchise minutiae – every trivial detail about episodes one through six or subsequent movies, novels, comic books, various animated series, Disney channel spinoffs or the forgettable made-for-TV one-offs, some of which can be viewed on the aforementioned streaming service (though not the infamously abominable Holiday Special, which at least introduced the world an animated bounty hunter.)
But I digress – which I guess is easy for me on this topic, to which my relationship is largely a mix of emotion and nostalgia.
In a recent episode of the podcast Under the Influence, host Terry O’Reilly talked about Walt Disney’s effort to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. According to O’Reilly, when it finally screened in December 1937, the groundbreaking animated film received a standing ovation from a “bowled over audience.” Hearing this, I was pretty sure I felt the same after my first viewing (there would be many more) of Star Wars in 1977. After the movie, while he was driving us home, my dad predicted we’d soon see all kinds of Star Wars toys: figures, helmets, blasters and whatnot. One evening the following year, after we finished dinner, my dad surprised me with a gift: three Star Wars figures. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca. That would be the start of a pretty good collection of Star Wars toys and other memorabilia, including items received through the Official Star Wars Fan Club (I think I still have one of the patches, but sadly none of the old posters or my well-read copies of the Bantha Tracks newsletter).
Of course, I shared my love for Star Wars with my son as soon I could, beginning with the initial trilogy. Like me, he enjoyed those, wasn’t crazy about the prequels and was ‘meh’ about the most recent movies and streamed releases. Yet, also like me, the negatives haven’t diminished his love for the galaxy far, far away.
I still get excited about all things Star Wars, including other people’s passion for it. (Did you get to see that Star Wars float in Sicamous’ 2020 Canada Day parade? So much love went into it, and the amazing, animated R2D2 statue onboard).
Despite all of this, Star Wars Day does nothing for me. It’s too much.
I didn’t realize until this May 4 that the day also happens to be International Firefighter’s Day. That gave me cause to pause and reflect. That’s a day deserving of recognition.
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