Written by Joe Naz (@Naz_islike)
The year is 1997. Things aren’t going well. My Mom and Dad are no longer together, I live in a very tiny cramped one bedroom apartment with my Mom, getting into a lot of fights in school, grades aren’t fantastic, wrote a note to a crush I had to circle “YES or NO if she liked me”, she circled “NO” with MULTIPLE circles. Things are in the crapper just in general. I get to see my Dad every other weekend so that’s cool at least. One day he picks me up from the Boy’s and Girl’s Club and tells me “Where gonna have an awesome night tonight.” I’m thinking were gonna microwave some Blockbuster popcorn, watch some “Cops” and maybe catch a movie on pay-per-view as was custom for our weekend bonding time, I was wrong. He drives to our favorite movie theater and tells me were gonna see one of his favorite movies when he was a kid, some movie called Star Wars. Cool, whatever, as long as we can get some of that big tub popcorn, and a Slurpee I don’t care.
We head to our auditorium and show the man our tickets, he tells us to enjoy the show. My Dad and I grab a seat kick up our feet and get ready for the movie. As soon as the film starts, I’m in awe. There was a loud noise of music followed by a shot of empty space with a bunch of words crawling to the top of the screen. “Ugh reading” first thing my mind shoots too. That mentality was quickly shot down when my Dad says “get ready” I huge ship comes flying from the screen and is being fired upon. “Ok that’s pretty awesome. Kind of like ID4.” Then an even bigger ship comes flying from the screen. The amount of time that ship was on the screen felt like years to me. With each passing second, my jaw is slowly lowering itself onto the dirty Secaucus movie theater floor. After that scene everything is a mush of emotions, excitement, wonder, amazement, wanting to be a Jedi, wanting a light saber, wanting to fly into space and get an X-Wing.
We leave the theater and my jaw is still scrapping itself against the cold, hard concrete. My Dad is asking me how I liked the movie and of course I’m standing there like a kid waking up on Christmas, I just can’t control my emotions. I’m telling him all my favorite parts along the car ride and how I could be a Jedi. He tells me we’ll get to do this again soon… BECAUSE THERE’S TWO MORE MOVIES’. Please attach emergency oxygen system to young Naz as he is losing air and having an asthma attack over the fact that this journey gets to continue. The cogs and gears were grinding in my mind and it’s just pure excitement from here on out. We stop at a Pizza Hut, order a pie with pepperoni and make our way home. As I drifted off into sleep that night, all I could think about was everything I saw in that movie. Darth Vader being one of the scariest things I’ve seen as a kid, huge ships battling in space, two funny robots, awesome light sabers and that bad ass looking stormtroopers! While I may not be the biggest Star Wars fan in the world, nor know a lot about the expanded universe and such, but I can tell you two things. First, that movie helped shape me into the person I am today. I’m still an asshole at times, but for the most part, I try to think “Would that be worthy of the Jedi way? Second is that day was one of the best days and memories with my Dad that I can remember in my life.