7 Lessons Learned From Watching Star Wars with Someone Who Never Saw It

By Liz Ohanesian in Daily Lists, Movies
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 6:00 am

5. You Don't Actually Know Everything About Star Wars.

Liz Ohanesian for L.A. Weekly
You may know who this guy is, but do you really know everything Star Wars?

Maybe there are a couple people out in the world who know every bit of Star Wars trivia. Most of us, though, still miss a few things, even when we've lost track of how many times we have watched the movies. I didn't realize how little I knew about Star Wars until I watched the movies with my husband.

There are so many characters in the original trilogy who are anonymous on screen, but actually do have names and back stories. Sometimes I knew their identities. My grasp of Star Wars trivia is best suited for scenes involving a shady Mos Eisley bar and Jabba the Hutt's entourage. Other times, Carlos would ask me a question about some seemingly trivial aspect of the movie and I drew a blank. I opened up my laptop and look up the answer on Wookieepedia. The Star Wars wiki is a great asset when you're re-watching the films. You can impress your movie-watching partner(s) by giving the demographic breakdown of Bespin or rattle off the names of all the commanders in the Battle of Yavin. Mostly, they will be impressed that something called Wookieepedia exists. Then, they'll question the source.

6. Star Wars Obsession Is Nostalgic.

Liz Ohanesian for L.A. Weekly
Boba Fett has been a part of your life for a very long time.

After watching Episodes IV, V and IV, it appeared that Carlos had some sort of newfound appreciation for Star Wars. He liked Empire Strikes Back best, which is probably expected. However, he won't have that life-long fascination with the movies that I have. Now, I have to admit that a lot of my own love for Star Wars is based on nostalgia.

For many of us, Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were the first blockbusters we saw in a theater. We remember dressing up as characters for Halloween and playing with the toys. For me, Star Wars will always be tied to my relationship with my dad, who died several years ago. He took me to see the original trilogy. I took him to see the prequels. We spent many hours griping about the prequels. I can tell my life story in a series of related anecdotes. Star Wars was where Little Lizzie, then less than two years old, cried in the theater and was escorted out by her father. The 1997 Special Editions came when I was sweeping up popcorn and milk dud clusters at a movie theater in the San Fernando Valley. I saw Phantom Menace a few weeks after graduating from college and starting my first 9 to 5. My disdain for the prequels might be tied to the angst that came with transitioning in functional adulthood.

At this point, I can't watch the existing Star Wars movies objectively. They're tied too tightly to my life. I suspect that others in my generation can admit to something similar.

Liz Ohanesian for L.A. Weekly
Star Wars cool and all, but maybe you really want that Labyrinth t-shirt.

7. Not Everyone Is a Star Wars Fanatic.

Star Wars isn't for everybody. Even people who might generally fall into the "nerd" camp - like someone who will go on at length about Punisher or Conan the Barbarian - might be able to abstain from the obsession. It seems shocking, but it's true. Just because Star Wars hit a pop culture apex where there's now a fan holiday, doesn't mean that everyone is hitting up the big sale on R2-D2 hoodies.

My husband spent a long time avoiding Star Wars. When I mentioned this to friends in person and on Facebook, a lot of people responded. Many were stunned, thinking that everyone in their 30s must have seen Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI at some point in their lives. Others confessed that they too had never seen the movies. Somehow, there's a whole subset of folks from the tale end of Generation X and top of Generation Y who managed to avoid the movies.

Sure, everybody has missed out on some really big hit films. I've never seen Titanic or Forrest Gump. Star Wars is different, though. Those movies weren't just in the theaters for a while upon release, they returned to theaters years later. They popped up on cable plenty of times. Then there's all the merch. How could you go through the toy boom of the '80s, the retro t-shirt fascination of the '90s and the geek phenomenon of the 21st century without once feeling compelled to sit down and watch at least one of the movies? This still baffles me.

More than 30 years after they were released, Carlos finally saw the original Star Wars trilogy. He enjoyed it. However, he's not going to be the kind of mega-fan that I am. It's cool. I'm just glad that he now understands some of those references that I've been dropping since we met over a decade ago.

If there's someone special in your life who hasn't seen a Star Wars movie, take the time to get him or her to watch it. It will be a fun experience for both of you. Just know that it might not be some kind of life-changing cinematic moment.

Previously by Liz Ohanesian

"9 Awesome Things You Might Not Know About Cartoon Network Studios"

"7 Reasons Why Marvel Superhero Movies Are Really Boring"

"10 Surprising Facts About Titmouse Animation Studio"

"The 8 Goth-Rockingest Episodes of The Venture Bros."

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