- Posted May 4, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
'Empire' turns 30: Share your memories
Empire Changed My Life!!
I was four years old in May of 1980, and already a certified Star Wars maniac. I had a slew of the toys and they were my most prized possessions. I learned to read from a healthy mixture of Star Wars comic books and Sesame Street. I have some hazy memories of seeing the first film in a drive-in theater, but my memories of Empire are far more vivid. I remember that my mom and I were going to see the movie with my aunt, and I found the wait to get to the theater at the local mall in St. Clairsville, Ohio, excruciating. My mom threatened to go back home more than once if I didn't calm down and remain patient. After what seemed like an eternity, we were finally seated at the theater and the familiar Star Wars title logo was blazing from the screen, larger than life, with the opening crawl going by as fast as I could read it. For the next two hours, I was riveted to the screen. The snowspeeders made me wonder what it was like to fly, Yoda made me laugh, and the fate of Han Solo literally made me fall out of my seat in terror. (Loud crying ensued, to my mom's dismay. Sorry Mom.) However, behind all of that, something else was happening. This movie was opening my mind to the infinite potential that was possible in the universe and within me. It made me want to explore and see what was beyond my front yard. Yoda's admonition to "Do or Do Not" became my personal motto before I was old enough to know what a motto was. And a lifelong love of science and flight was born that continues to this day. I tell people all the time that if it wasn't for Star Wars, and especially Empire, I probably wouldn't be an aerospace engineer today. I probably wouldn't have the drive to figure out what secrets make the world tick, and I probably wouldn't have the perseverance to do what it takes to figure out the answers. For me, The Empire Strikes Back is more than a movie. It's the basis for the way that I look at the world.