Column: It’s never too late to fall in love with Star Wars

20 March 2024

Editor’s note: This is part of a series called Staff Favorites published by The Denver Post, one of the sites in our network of newsrooms across the country.

Right now, fans of sci-fi/fantasy films are going ga-ga over “Dune: Part 2” (which certainly is gorgeous).

But I’m here to sing the praises of another space opera.

I was a bit late jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon. (Spoiler: Darth Vader dies; who knew?) Sure, I couldn’t escape seeing the first two — er, Episodes 4 and 5, I mean — in theaters when they first came out back in 1977 and 1980. But really, I had little interest, didn’t know what it all meant and couldn’t appreciate how incredible it was that George Lucas created this fantastical dynasty.

Anthony Daniels collection screen-matched light-up C3PO head from “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” (1983) is on display during a press preview of movie memorabilia auction at Propstore in Valencia, California on February 7, 2024. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Then, a couple of years ago, I met Dave, a sci-fi/fantasy geek who convinced me to give the genre a try.

After dipping my toe into the outer space pool with “The Expanse” series (2015-2021), and a lot of hitting pause and asking questions (“So where did this menacing blue goo come from again?”), I was ready to take the plunge.

We began with “Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope,” released in 1977. (Naturally, we watched them in the order they were made, like any purist would.) Little of it was familiar to me, so I was enthralled. And the best part of it all: I got explanations along the way, i.e., “Lucas based his air battles between the empire and the rebels on World War II dogfighting newsreels.”

Star Wars A New Hope 1998 Don Post Studios C-3PO display statue (L) and Star Wars Return of The Jedi 1998 Don Post Studios R2-D2 Display Statue are displayed during the media preview for Julien’s “Legends: Hollywood and Royalty” auction and exhibition, in Beverly Hills, California, on August 28, 2023. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

“The trilogies are about the redemption of evil men becoming good again, against the backdrop of John Williams’ brilliant scores.”

“The Midi-chlorians (the foundational cells of the Force) were strong in the Skywalkers, and Anakin’s lightsaber tied Luke and Rey together through the Force.”

Wookies and jawas and banthas, oh my.

My pop culture memory banks are so much more complete now that I know the difference between a clone and a droid, and can identify a rancor and a dewback. Oh, what I have missed!

“The stormtroopers were named after the Sturm Abteilung of the Nazi party.”

Fans of the Star Wars saga fancy dressed as the characters, take part in the so-called “Training Day” parade, at Vallarta Avenue in Guadalajara, state of Jalisco, Mexico, on October 7, 2023. (Photo by ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images)

“Just like his grandfather, Kylo Ren is manipulated by a Sith and wants to embrace the power of the Dark Side but he struggles against the pull of the Light Side from his Skywalker heritage.”

But all good things come to an end, amiright? After Star Wars episodes IV, V and VI, and then I, II and III, I was feeling bereft — until Dave showed me all of the Star Wars spinoffs: “Ahsoka,” “The Book of Boba Fett,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” It was so exciting that I burst into song: “A whole new worrrrrrrrld.” So much to look forward to.

At a recent book club meeting, I excitedly described my most recent obsession to my friends: “The Mandalorian” series, a Star Wars spinoff streaming on Disney, starring a mostly-masked Pedro Pascal and the cutest little puppet/CGI creature, Grogu.

When I told these worldly, intelligent women that I wanted to buy Baby Yoda figurines and place them all over my house, the look on their faces made me wonder if I had gone too far.

But I remain unapologetic. They’ll see how cute those little Baby Yodas are when they come over for our June meeting.

However, I think they would judge me if they knew about the Grogu adhesive bandages in my medicine cabinet.

Jedi and beskar and Leia, oh my.

May the force … you know.

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