Monday, December 31, 2007

Star Wars for New Years

On Friday December 21st, I got to see the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy at the Woolly Mammoth Theater. Written and performed by Charles Ross, the one hour show amazes. I became amazed at how integrally and intimately I knew those movies.

I'd not seen them for years, maybe more than a decade, yet a gesture, a noise, a line, a few notes of melody, a series of robotic beeps - would evoke a wealth of memories. The stories are so well-worn and so well-known, so overworked and overwrought. And the performance was fresh and funny. I took a 14 year friend and we giggled and belly laughed until we ached. I'd forgotten parts - diving into the garbage bin in Star Wars, that smelly belly Han puts Luke in at the beginning of Empire, Jabba's dancing girl - but it was all right there, conjured fully with a few evocative moments. He makes Luke out to be a whiney sap. And I remember how, like most young girls, as I grew and the movies came out Luke heroics became less interesting than Han Solo's "depth."

I wasn't feeling well that night; I was glad it wasn't longer than an hour - so the night was perfect fun. To check out the official web site (he's going to be in London), click here.

I was a huge fan - 10, 13 and 17 when the films came out. And I vividly remember each theater, and the wonder. For years I kept a one page Time article that outline at Lucas' 9 movie plan. I couldn't wait for more. In high school, I choreographed a ballet to Princess Leia's theme, and the movies were the genesis of my soundtrack collection, much mocked by friends. My ballet teacher then choreographed a dance for me to the Ewok song (that'll teach me). And my first computer game was destroying the Death Star - on an Apple II computer. A black screen, with green lines, in a Tie Fighter trying to hit the transponder bulls-eye, just like Luke did in the climax of the movie.

And the imagination of the films - Skywalker, Storm Trooper, Darth Vader. The two suns on Tatoonie. I remember my mother comparing Obi-Wan Kenobi to Jesus Christ. Yes, she did. How he was more powerful in death. And how R2-D2 and C3PO were like Abbot and Costello.

For my New Year's Eve, I am unwell and unable to socialize and partake in the several parties I've been invited to. Nor can I venture out to see a movie as two different girlfriends suggested. But, with that brilliant Star Wars performance on my mind, I'm going to hunker down and enjoy Star Wars - the original before it was renamed A New Hope.

I resolve to make resolutions tomorrow. My day went off, literally - with an explosion up the street and the loss of power until early afternoon. I took a bath to warm up and hunkered down under the covers again at 10 am to reread Ian McEwan's Atonement and continue to rest in hopes of securing some strength.

Good riddance to 2007! Did you see the New York Times Editorial, lamenting the unrecognizable state of our country? Their litany captures only about 1/3 of the horrors I perceive. 386 days left of Bush. I might have a party on January 20th, 2008 to begin the final year countdown. Go Obama! I'm on pins and needles about Thursday. Another Clinton campaign would destroy us. If she wins, I'll be voting for Bloomberg.

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