My nephew turned five last week. For his birthday he watched Star Wars for the first time. (Star Wars was the first movie I remember seeing in the movie theater as a kid; it was released a few days before I turned six.) There was a Jedi training session in Inwood Park and then there was the screening. My nephew has been talking about the movie for weeks. He even had a favorite character–Chewy. But his friends were more interested in his toys so they didn’t actually watch much of the movie. The real screening took place the next day and I arrived minutes before the Death Star was blown to smithereens.
A few days earlier, I stopped by the electric circus known as Toys R Us in Times Square to pick up a present. I headed to the Star Wars area and was dismayed; I could hardly find anything that had to do with the original movie (though I did eventually find one box that contained small figurines of Obi Wan, Luke and the two droids). When I got home and told my wife Emily how shocked I was at the lack of toys from the original movie, she turned to me, and in her best Alice Kramden said, “Sweetheart, that movie came out over thirty years ago.”
I looked at her blankly. Blinked. Then I unpacked the toys, took out my teeth, changed my diaper and went to bed. It was four in the afternoon.