Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 3:48 pm | Mostly Cloudy 67º


Danny Tyree: May the Force Be With Us as ‘Star Wars’ Turns 40

“Seemingly yesterday, at a location just a couple of miles from my current home ...”

For me, that seems more appropriate than “Long ago in a galaxy far, far away” as I think about May 25 and the 40th anniversary of the debut of the first Star Wars movie.

I’ll always treasure memories of my late father taking me to see the film at the Hi-Way 50 Drive-In in Lewisburg, Tenn., in the late spring of 1977. I was blown away by the scope of the movie and couldn’t imagine how the rumored sequel could be any more spectacular.

Little did I know that in 2017, with CGI and other such special effects wizardry, even a low-rent local divorce lawyer could create an equally impressive commercial. (“Here’s your former mother-in-law in full Storm Trooper regalia. And this is how we’ll taunt your ex with a hologram of an alimony check ...”)

Little did I know while watching lovable droids C-3PO and R2-D2 upstage the human actors, that 40 years later, electronic devices would still have the upper hand. (“Put down that tablet and talk to me, young lady. Hey, you’re not my daughter! Why did you follow me home from the mall??? Where’s my Find Your Real Children app?”)

I’m proud that I read the Marvel Comics adaptation of A New Hope when it first came out and that I absorbed a ton of spinoff series review copies when Dark Horse Comics had the publishing license. I’m proud that my son eagerly awaits episodes of Disney’s Star Wars Rebels animated series.

But over the past four decades there have been so many hundreds of comics, novels and video games that I have to wonder about anyone who has sat through them all. As Darth Vader might say, “The cholesterol is strong with this one.”

This year’s milestone for the Star Wars universe is bittersweet for fans, what with the patricide scene in Episode VII and the recent death of actress Carrie Fisher. What other things can sully our memories of the Star Wars battle of good versus evil?

Will some entrepreneur develop Fitbits for AT-AT Walkers?

Will a trendy salon start a fad of waxing for Wookies?

Will “come over to the Dark Side” become a slogan for all those cursed newfangled fluorescent bulbs?

Will Han Solo’s spaceship, the Millennium Falcon, spawn the Millennial Falcon, which gets parked in your parents’ basement?

Will Bill O’Reilly try to expand his “Killing” empire by co-writing Killing The Death Star? (“If you’re going to steal the plans for the Empire’s world-destroying space station, you’ll have to smuggle them out in your bra. Here, let me help you ...”)

Will torch-brandishing protesters accuse the movie producers of editing Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis out of the scenes of the Rebellion?

Whatever discomforting developments may be on the horizon, I take joy that George Lucas is getting to see the final chapters of his nine-part saga coming to fruition after all these years.

It’s not often that one gets to see a plan come together after four decades and come together so beautifully. (“Well, I had to wait for you to go through divorce once and widowhood twice, but now you’re all mine, Lucretia. Whoa! Are those varicose veins or rubble from the battle of Endor? Rub your bunions? The Groom Awakens — and hopes it’s all a nightmare!”)

— Satirical columnist Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page Tyree’s Tyrades. He is syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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