Friday, June 18, 2010

TTD#4: relaxing!

"Relaxing" in this case means "being productive when I want to be." I've been busy stuffing support envelopes for the fall (more on that later), reading ISV orientation materials, and trying to decide on a textbook to use for the world music class I'll be teaching in August, but, in between all this, I've been watching a lot of movies. Most of them have been Star Wars. Some have been better, or as bad, as I remembered them, but the most fun I've had in re-watching these has been reliving all the memories they've brought back.

I have a brief memory of seeing scenes from the original Star Wars movie ("A New Hope") when my family lived in Thomaston (so this would have been before age 7): I just remember that Darth Vader was out to get Princes Leia, which was just upsetting. When my family came back to the States on our first home assignment, I watched the original series with my brother, Robert, and Aunt Nancy over three nights at my Grandma Bliss's house. Then, we got the bright idea to do a marathon, staying up ALL NIGHT to watch these three back-to-back. For a ten-year-old and a seven-year-old, this was quite an adventure. I remember that we ordered Papa John's Hawaiian pizza, and had M&M's and Dr. Pepper as snacks to eat during the movie. However, I fell asleep just minutes into "Return of the Jedi," (it was about 1 AM by then).

The all-night Star Wars marathon became a tradition that Aunt Nancy, Robert and I kept every time my family would return to the States (which was every two-or-three years). I was finally able to stay up all night during our second home assignment (when I was 13). During this time "home," the new "Episode 1" came out in theatres (1999). My family went and saw it twice. Robert and I were enthralled by it, my parents decided to watch it again just to double-check that it was really that bad. When Episodes II and III came out in subsequent years, my family went to theatres to see them, but by that time, we were all in agreement that other than the droids, there was no character development or real personality in the other characters, the script was cliche or stereotypical, and the acting just sucked. Nevertheless, we continued to do the occasional Star Wars marathon when we visited my aunt, and began adding the new episodes as they came out on DVD. We have yet to actually do a six-episode marathon however.

Re-watching these films (and downing M&M's while doing so), I have laughed at their cheesiness (this includes the original trilogy), enjoyed the richness of the visual provided and the cinematography, and continued to roll my eyes at some of the sucky acting. Nevertheless, the human emotions portrayed are ones that we deal with everyday: who doesn't struggle with anger or hate, make split-second reckless decisions, or blunder through the intricacies and complications of emotional attachments? After my family came out of the theatre from watching "Episode II" for the first time, we all had the same conclusion: Anakin Skywalker needed Christ! (that opinion was even stronger after seeing "Episode III"). I also remember thinking afterwards about my own tendencies to sin, try to save or fix myself, and become defeated by my own nature in the endeavor. At that point, I was glad that I lived in a universe where a savior existed, and who was, and is, completely able to do what I could not--defeat and eradicate my sin! Watching these films again has brought back these contemplations--which are good things to think about.