From @ISnowNothin host of Podcast2187
The OT was still going on when I was born. The first movie I was conscious for was Return of the Jedi, though I have no recollection of it.
My brothers and I were born a little before each of the OT films. Star Wars was the first movie my oldest brother saw, Empire the first my middle brother saw, and it was the first thing we all loved.
It introduced us to collecting, to fandom, to mythology, fantasy and sci-fi. Though there are other fandoms I hold alongside Star Wars, the films and characters in the OT are the first that captured my imagination completely, and bonded my entire family.
The lessons of Luke Skywalker, that we aren’t our parents, that love can overcome hate, and that the nonviolent path can still change the world, are lessons that shaped who I am as a person. The example of Leia, of duty, service, sacrifice and honor, of using a position of privilege and power to help those being exploited and used. The Skywalker siblings gave me the most influential and long-lasting ideas of what heroism is to me.Basically, I love everything about the OT, and the experience of growing up around it and during it feels inseparable from the things that made me who I am
ROTJ was the first “adult” movie I sat and watched with my dad when i was 3. There’s nothing like these movies. They’re mystical, yet filled with futuristic tech, but they feel used and lived-in. They feel like you can step into them and be a part of the universe.
The OT introduced good characters I love and evil ones I’m fascinated by. For over 20 years I’ve talked about these movies with friends, and I never get tired of it.
Leia was the first badass woman I saw on screen, and I think was a huge influence on what kind of women I see as mentors to this day- women that don’t take shit, who get shit done, and love deeply without losing themselves.
When it comes to Star Wars, the original trilogy is my home. It was the Star Wars that I first recall, that my dad excitedly setup our oversized VCR to record its initial network broadcast premiere (complete with Mark Hamill hosting the telecast that shared behind the scenes footage with the original film), and that as I grew older, came to dominate my interest and my time. My bedroom walls became adorned with posters for each of the three films, open space on my bookshelves disappeared as the continued adventures of my heroes, Han, Luke, and Leia, in the fledgling expanded universe produced one book after another, and the free time after school disappeared in hour long missions in the primitive graphics of the 90’s era X-Wing flight sim. The original trilogy became my expertise and though I still spent time with the friends I had grown up with, it was the friends whom I made on the internet, from bulletin boards to chatrooms that I found I could speak the beloved language of the Force and all things in the galaxy far, far, away with. It was these conversations that eventually resulted in introducing me to the woman who later became my wife.
My deepest, longest attachments to Star Wars draw from the original trilogy because it is the foundation of my fandom today. Even in the part of my life where life events drew my time and resources away from the franchise, it remained within me, planted from countless hours spent watching the same three films over, and over, and over again. As to why or how these films came to mean so much to me, why I watched them excessively, it was Luke Skywalker’s call to adventure, the transition from a nobody who dreamt of a future that was diminished by the reality of his fate. It was the romance of Han and Leia, the “I know,” in a carbonite freezing chamber, and the spiritual teachings of a green, pint-sized Jedi Master. The excited star fighter dog fights and the stirring music of John Williams that came to score my life as much as the films. I fell in love with the characters and the mysticism of the Force, the snub nose of a T-65 X-wing and the quiet contemplation of Darth Vader as he turned his gaze from his son to the Emperor and back again before finding the goodness that Luke had sensed within him. On every level, the stories, the characters, the settings, and music, I came to love the original trilogy.
The OT matters for so many reasons. It was what got me into this fandom that has brought me so much happiness and good friends. But for me it is the story of Luke that I think I will always go back to. He is the optimistic person who cares maybe too much and can’t give a quippy line and let things roll off his back like I am. The fact that he gets to be the hero and wins because of how he cares is incredible. In the last few years, I have also realized that part of why I always identified with me was his relationship with his dad. I had a very combatant relationship with my dad for a long time due to mental illness and I basically refused to cut him out of my life when it might have been a easier path for me. I was able to make peace with him before he died about 4 years ago and ever since, I realized that seeing Luke do the same thing had meant more than my brain even know for a long time.