A long time ago, in a mobile home about two hours away...

I was exposed to arguably the best trilogy of films ever committed to celluloid. My experience with these classics was a bit unique, as I actually watched the movies backwards! Starting with Return of the Jedi, followed by The Empire Strikes Back, and finally coming to the first Star Wars film that started the entire craze, Star Wars: A New Hope.

The story begins with me...

A 5-year old boy living in a single parent environment, wielding a baseball bat used to not only hit baseballs off the tee, but to chase the one girl on our team off by swinging wildly. My favorite movies at the time were The Land Before Time, The Rocketeer, Dumbo, Hook, and especially Back to the Future. I was raised in a mobile home park for the elderly, so friends my age were extremely rare. I was a hardcore Mama's Boy, because that's all I had at the time.

However, despite the whole Mama's Boy thing, movies like Hook inspired me to pick up a stick, a broken broom handle, a cheap plastic sword I got from the swap meet, or on some occasions my baseball bat, and sword fight anyone who dared challenge me, and dudes and dudettes, I was AWESOME! Unbeatable to everyone with the exception of my much older cousin. On Fridays I'd spend the day at my Mom's friends house up on the Mesa. Her name was Cindy, and she had two kids; Boone and Emily. Boone was a couple of years older than me so I immediately started looking up to him. He was a guru in all things Nintendo, and he'd show me his comic books. Emily was a couple of years younger than me, and a girl, so I didn't pay much attention to her back then. One Friday Boone asked his Mom is we could pop in Star Wars. I had no idea what Star Wars was, but Cindy said no, because I was too young and I'd probably be put off by the scary alien creatures. Boone begged, and pleaded, and I followed suit saying that I'm sure nothing in the movie would scare me...

Enter Jabba the Hutt.

He scared the living crap out of me! Darth Vader just looked awesome, and had the coolest voice ever. Heck, it being my first viewing of anything Star Wars, I figured he was one of the good guys! But Jabba, Jabba was just friggin' SCARY! The Rancor didn't phase me a bit, oddly enough. I was promised by Cindy some awesome sword play. She told me the hero, Luke Skywalker, had a sword that gave him magical powers. I hid my face in my pillow until I saw Luke grab a bone from the Rancor Pit as The Rancor went to gobble Skywalker up. The Bone would snap in the Rancors mouth. Was this the sword? Luke Wielded it like a sword, but it certainly didn't last long, and it displayed no special powers. I was disappointed, and growing bored of the movie, but then with a salute...

an awesome flip off of the futuristic desert skiff's plank, and a well placed toss by a beeping droid, Luke had something that looked like a flashlight in his hand. With the press of a button the single greatest sight I had ever laid eyes on blazed onto the screen...

A Laser Sword! It was cutting through everything! Those Pig guards had no chance, and Luke was taking out everyone in sight! I was told it was called a lightsaber, but my feeble 5 year old mind could only call it a LightSaver, and I wanted one! Imagine, a sword that could cut through anything! I could even defeat my uber powerful cousin! The story then took our characters to outer space,as Luke jetted off to see Yoda about some training. My first view of Yoda was him dying. I was sad, as he disappeared I asked Cindy if he was going to heaven. She patted me on the head and told me yeah, and it made me smile. Obi-Wan Kenobi showed up, all blue and glowing. I thought he was a bad guy, and I didn't understand why Luke didn't chop up the scary ghost. The only good ghost I knew of was Slimer, and Obi-Wan certainly wasn't green or slimey.

Next, the heroes went to the forest moon of Endor. I couldn't wait to see Luke use his lightsaver again. I watched the speeder bike scene and was bored of it until Luke showed his lightsaver again. Bam! My face lit up. Soon the rebels encountered Ewoks, which I figured were Chewbacca's little brothers. They were furry, and cuddly and I fell in love. I watched as they defeated the stormtroopers with rocks and logs, and shed a tear in the infamous scene where one of the Ewoks couldn't wake up his friend.

That's alright though, Cindy told me that he went to heaven too. Han Solo quickly became my second favorite character, as he just stood for everything a hero was to me back in those days. He had a laser gun, which wasn't as cool as a laser sword, but it was up there. I watched as he romanced Leia, who I already knew was Luke's sister, thanks to the ghostly Obi-Wan. Luke went off to find Darth Vader, or Dark Vader as I called him, who's surprise reveal of being Luke's father was ruined by Obi-Wan. Man, I hated Obi-Wan. Anyway, Luke and Dark Vader talked about the Emperor. We were studying Penguins in Kindergarten, so I imagined Vader serving a gigantic Penguin. I wondered if it had anything to do with the Batman character? Anyway the Emperor showed up and I was surprised to see an old shriveled man bossing around the gigantic robot that was Dark Vader. I was surprised to see that Vader had a red lightsaver! Vader replaced Han Solo as my second favorite character, because I liked the color green better than red at the time, otherwise I'm sure Vader would have taken the cake.

I had thought that Vader and Luke were family, and they were fighting because Luke did something that Vader was punishing him for. I remember being mad at Luke because he cut Vader's hand off. I watched Vader pick up the Emperor and body slam him off the railing like one of my favorite wrestlers. Luke and Vader shared a tender father and son moment, and Vader died. Luke abandoned the DeathStar just as Lando and his alien co-pilot destroyed it with their lasers. I don't remember being fond of the space battles, because they took away precious time that could have been spent with dueling lightsavers.

Anyway, the movie concluded with Vader, Yoda, and Obi-Wan all being ghosts, and then going to Heaven, a giant party with ewoks singing Yub Yub, and the amazing music of John Williams blaring during the credits. The movie was finished, and all I had to say was 4 enthusiastic words...

"Let's Watch That Again!"

We must have watched it 6 times that day. I'd hide my head in the pillow for the Jabba parts, and I developed a fondness for Admiral Ackbar. Cindy and Boone got burnt out on Return of the Jedi quick, and informed me that there were other Star Wars movies, and they owned them.

I freaked out! I thought by other Star Wars movies she meant sequels to Jedi, continuing Luke's adventures. Little did I know I had watched the last movie first, and it was time for me to backtrack, but that's for a future article. On my first day of 3rd grade, my Mom bought me the entire trilogy in THX. I watched Return of the Jedi every morning before school, memorizing it verbatim, until 7th grade or so. I was the Star Wars nerd at school, and this is where that all started about 17 years ago. Today I'm still a bit of a Star Wars Nerd...

(I'm the one being held at gunpoint)

The End...of part 1.