Tyrades! By Danny Tyree
Ah, time — it travels faster than the Millennium Falcon.
I still remember the summer of 1977 and my late father sitting through the first "Star Wars" movie with me at the Hi-Way 50 Drive-In in Lewisburg, Tennessee. (I had heard there would be a sequel, but I was so blown away by "A New Hope" that I couldn't imagine what was left to say.)
Yes, I should have been with a date instead of my father; but I was a shy, awkward teen with zits boasting enough of a gravitational pull to bring down the Death Star.
My father bought me an 8-track tape of the soundtrack for my next birthday. A few years later, the press was lampooning Pres. Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative as Star Wars.
(Good thing the media didn't learn about other Reagan administration plans for dealing with the Evil Empire, such as Animal House, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.)
I married a girl who appreciated reading my Star Wars comic books. We had a son who dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween when he was four years old.
Fast forward to 2015. All three of us are anxiously awaiting the premiere of "Star Wars Part VII: The Force Awakens". I understand that, because of using Han Solo and other characters who haven't been seen since "The Return of the Jedi" 30 years ago, the title was almost "Star Wars Part VII: The Force Awakens, Goes To The Bathroom For The Third Time, and Goes Back To Bed."
Seriously, actress Carrie Fisher was required to lose 35 pounds before being allowed to reprise her role as Princess (General) Leia. She groused, "I'm in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That's so messed up."
It does seem unfair that the stars must work so hard on their faces and bodies when audience members can just sit there with super-sized popcorn and soft drinks (and Jabba the Hutt Fitbits). As Yoda might have said, "The cholesterol is strong in this one" or maybe "There is no try — there is only defibrillate or not defibrillate."
The social media rumor mill has been running wild because Luke Skywalker is absent (or at least not definitely identified) in the film trailers. Is Luke hiding? Has he turned evil? Of course Donald Trump insists that he and numerous other people DID see Luke in the trailer. ("My great-great grandmother and my millions of ultra-liberal friends, to name a few.")
The new movie's tagline ("Every generation has a story") seems to have the appropriate gravitas, but some millennials have amended it to "Every generation has a story, unless they spend so much time on Ancestry.com that they don't have TIME to live their own story."
Although fans expect box office records to be shattered, there are still people who just don't "get" the Star Wars phenomenon. ("What's this about TIE fighters? Sign me up as one; I don't like wearin' no monkey suit. Did someone mention Cologne Wars? Leave that sissified stuff to the metrosexuals. I'm gettin' by on the virtue of my natural aroma.")
Here's hoping that director J.J. Abrams can run with George Lucas's legacy and keep the Star Wars battle of good versus evil going for many years.
And maybe invent a Clearasil-dispensing droid? Every generation has its acne.
©2015 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades". Danny's' weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.