Up at school this morning, as the boys were locking up their scooters, another little kid pedaled up to the bike rack and began chatting with us. He wasn't one of my guys' friends. They didn't know him. He looked to be in the fourth grade, while they're in third and sixth. But he was in an excited mood and needed to talk to somebody about the source of his excitement.
He was early to school today, he told us. Usually he arrives at the time when the bread truck pulls up to the cafeteria to deliver the hamburger rolls. But he woke up with the birds, he said, because he just couldn't wait to begin the day. He was in a hurry for tonight to come. Because...well, you can guess why.
His parents were taking him to Revenge of the Sith.
"It's going to be the greatest one," he said. "It's going to be like all of Episode I and Episode II all put together. I've been waiting for this one since, like, well it feels like my whole life. I just know I'll love it. I just hope that I'm not too excited to relax and enjoy it!"
It's their movie.
My boys sympathized with him completely. They told him how they are waiting to see it in Boston this weekend. He said he didn't think he'd be able to wait that long. They admitted they were getting impatient. All three agreed that Episode III was going to be their favorite.
It's their movie.
Last night, the blonde, feeling herself growing a little excited at the prospect of seeing the movie, tried to rally us all for a showing of the original Star Wars. "Let's all watch the first one!" she said.
She put in the DVD. The trumpets blared. The crawl began. And the 11 year old, snug on the couch beside her, piped up in dismay, "Hey, you said we were going to watch the first one!"
"We are," the blonde said reassuringly, thinking he'd missed something.
"No, we aren't. This is Episode IV!"
The blonde was baffled. "Right. That's the first one."
"No," said the 11 year old. "Episode I is the first one, mom."
He's right, of course. Now it is. And he didn't mean that it was just the first one he saw. He meant that Star Wars is not just that popcorn movie we all saw when we were young. Star Wars is all the movies, they make up one long story, and Episode I is the first chapter. There are no prequels. There is just the story.
They are their movies.
You remember the last scene in Peter Pan? When Peter comes back to the Darling house and finds that in what he thinks is the short time he's been gone Wendy has grown up? He wants to take her back to Neverland with him, but she tells him she can't go play at being his mother, she's a real mother now.
Peter is only momentarily disappointed. He cheers up as soon as he meets Wendy's daughter. He takes her to Neverland, leaving Wendy staring sadly after them out the window, remembering. Remembering
George Lucas has returned to take Wendy's daughter, and your kids, and my sons, and that little boy at the bike rack, and all the children with him back to Neverland.
How do you get to that galaxy that's a long time ago and far away?
Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.