My youngest brother has been a fan of Star Wars ever since he was old enough to choose his library check outs. He even exchanged letters with Lucas. Acting and creating and producing are in this boy's blood and I have no doubt that they will always be part of his life. His infatuation with the films and the story behind them is something I think very few people can really understand. He has gotten us into going to premieres, standing in lines to make sure we get decent seats, and designs costumes that get all kinds of compliments. The release of the latest episode of Star Wars was a reason for celebration in my family (on both coasts...). We line up two hours before the film started and stood in a BLIZZARD with nearly 100 other people doing our best to stay warm.
There was a double date going on in front of us. The group was made up of a barista, a bail bondsman, a dental student, and a guy who basically did a lot of listening. They were chatting away about the differences in drinks, a guy who got "dishonorably discharged" from some branch of the military and pretends to be a police officer serving warrants, as well as the makeup and decay process of teeth. I was trying my hardest NOT to listen too closely, but we were all standing within two feet of each other. Besides that, the dental student's umbrella kept getting my attention every time it got closer to my face.
There was a father and son duo behind us...They were exact imprints of one another. The father was telling his son all about his memories of going to see the original movies. They were friendly and even offered the time when they overheard my Mom ask about it for the third time in 15 minutes.
Then there were the guys from "Tuesday night swing" who got ECSTATIC about seeing some people they knew in the line. The thing is, we don't actually KNOW them. We all just know what the others look like...but, I saw the first guy's eyes light up with recognition and then watched as he turned his back to us and whisper shouted to the lady he was with "BEHIND ME!!! PEOPLE FROM TUESDAY NIGHTS!!!". He did it again when his buddy showed up. Both times I actually laughed out loud. Eventually, we all acknowledged one another and properly introduced ourselves.
When the lady came out to welcome the crowd into the theatre, everyone cheered. The wait was over...
I really enjoyed the film and I can't wait to watch it again, but December 17th wasn't about a big premiere. It was about joining in on a moment my 15 year old brother has been looking forward to for a very long time. The excitement of FANS truly is contagious. I've been to the premiere of three or four films now and each time I am surprised at how excited I find myself becoming once I'm in the presence of people who have been living and breathing a certain story. It's a kind of contagion that I find myself thinking back on.
There were teenagers, grown men, and even old people who were anticipating those two hours with such GLEE that it was wearing off on everyone around them. I saw the smiles that seemed to take over their entire face. I heard exclamations and whispers of "I am SOOOO excited!!!!" so many times that I lost count. When the film was over and everyone sat in silence, I found myself wishing we could all sit around and swap thoughts. Was it everything they had hoped for?
Instead, we all filed out of the theatre in a kind stupor. The streets were silent. The snow continued to fall. The wait was over. It was 1am and the premiere of Star Wars 7 was becoming a memory.
The next morning we all slept WAY in and eventually made our way outside to take care of the snow. The memory had been made and I was a little surprised to see that the excitement wore on. That's the thing that sets true delight apart.
A week and a half has gone by. BB8 melted a little bit and is nearly lost to the massive amounts of snow that have piled up all around him. Underneath the piles and the drifts lies a reminder of one man's creation which has inspired countless others. Never underestimate influence...You never know how far your reach may go.