Barnaby’s down, so I wanted to post something really fast.
We’re watching “Empire Strikes Back” and this was such an important film for me. This is such an incredibly formative movie, basically my entire moral universe was taught to me from this movie. I’m not sure, but it might be because of my age, at 36, I am exactly the right age to have seen this movie when it could enter my hindbrain. I saw it in the theater when I was ten, which meant I saw it with some of my friends and only one parent, and we were able to discuss the larger ideas both before we went in, and long afterwards.

1) Darth Vader is Luke’s Dad.

We had heard about this for a while before we saw the movie, and we all talked about how it was simply impossible. There was just no way that Luke could possible be Vader’s son. It was made very clear in the first movie that Vader KILLED Luke’s dad. When this was revealed… too much can not be made of this plot twist. It was a Cain and Abel level reversal, the kind of thing that can change not only the way you look at storytelling, but how I looked at the world. Always in the back of my head was the possibility that I could be more than my parents were, and this is a liberating idea that I want so much to pass on to Barnabutt.

2)Luke Leaves His Training

Luke realizes his friends are in trouble and he leaves his training before he’s done. Even in the path less traveled, he takes the path less traveled. His training prepares him to the point where he feels like he can take on the world, but the holes in his training have left him unprepared. Talented, brilliant and unprepared. I can’t tell you how this made me feel, looking back.

3)Lando’s Betrayal

Has anything else so completely shown the very worst of what a government can do. A deal with the devil will never be honored, and the small betrayal you have to commit in order to get ahead will NEVER pay off in any way. You can sell out, but selling out will guarantee you nothing. The man who asks for betrayal certainly believes that betrayal is a reasonable option.

4)Obi Wan’s Death

Although this is in the first movie, it does take the entire movie to get to it, and the revelation of its importance is revealed in the last two movies. When Obi Wan lifts his lightsaber and allows Vader to kill him, this beautiful and simple act of charity changed my view of the entire world. In a larger sense, I was profoundly effected by the concept of sacrifice purely for the sake of proving what love is to Luke, but some years later it occurred to me that he was also teaching a lesson in transcendence and spiritual glory. One of three or four of the most powerful moments in movie history for me.

4)Han and Leia

Naturally, I wanted Leia to be with Luke in the first movie, and I was always pissed off at Han Solo for pursuing her. But how brilliant is it that the romance doesn’t really work out, and for all the right reasons. This is how I got Jordana. We were shooting a little film in LA and everyone on the set was flirting with her, and for some reason I dug deep and thought, “Y’know what? If she likes me, she’ll be with me, if not, she won’t. I’ll just wait it out.” I was right. Just like Han.

5)Han Solo

In “40 Year Old Virgin”, the main character is told to act like David Caruso in “Jade”, but every girl who’s ever like me has like me because I was acting like Han Solo. When she says “I love you” and he says, “I know.”… That’s just awesome. And yes, I know that Harrison Ford added that.

6)Luke Losing His Hand

We now know that George Lucas has a hand-cutting fetish, but man, that was some serious shit when I was ten. It was the single most violent thing I had experienced, in terms of seeing something brand new and awful. Of course, as of 8 weeks ago, I finally saw something even more graphic and disturbing, but in both cases I got something nice out of it.

Han Being Frozen

That’s only the one example of realizing the very dreams we’ve had on film. The lightsabers, the laser guns, the hyperdrive, R2D2 plugging into the outlets, levitating spaceships, a city in the clouds… The truth is that the first three movies are so much more visually compelling than the prequels. Much of it is that by now we’ve seen all this crap a million times, but the truth is that the original movies are still more compelling than the new ones.

Nothing I’ve seen in the cinema since has effected me like the original Star Wars trilogy, and by far the very best one is the second. I can’t wait until I can watch them with Barno and let him tell me that they’re all gay.