Anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with Star Wars. So the title of this post should make you think, “God, you must hate your mom!” For the uninitiated, Jar Jar Binks was an annoying CGI character that many see as the epitome of what was wrong with the Star Wars prequels.
I still remember the day I saw The Phantom Menace. My Mom surprised me with tickets after school the day it opened. The minute Jar Jar walked on screen, my Mom could not stop laughing. All he had to do was simply walk and her laughter would fill the theater.
My Mom was responsible for a lot of who I am. My love of the San Francisco Giants, for example. But strangely not my love of film. I hated Jar Jar…if I were seven years old at the time, my opinion would be different. But my Mom always liked movies for the fun of it.
While I always appreciated story over spectacle, my Mom loved to laugh, or see exciting action sequences. I will watch a film quietly taking it all in, while my Mom would sometimes get vocal at a particularly emotional scene. She would fall asleep every now and then.
Now some people may not want to see a film with someone like that.
I loved it…well, maybe not the sleeping part.
My Mom never understood why I love to see the big blockbuster opening day or weekend. I’ve always loved getting the “geeked up” crowds for the big blockbusters. I love the way they react: The cheering, the laughter, the emotional outbursts. It’s like being part of something.
I believe I got that from my Mom. During Saving Private Ryan, she got very upset at the scene where Private Mellish is slowly killed and Upham does nothing even though he is right outside the room. She got so excited during the car chase in The Bourne Identity that I actually had to “Shhh” her a bit. And of course, she laughed at Jar Jar in The Phantom Menace.
I think my Mom taught me not to take myself too seriously. While she didn’t look at film the way I did, she taught me that sometimes you’re just there to have a good time. She passed away five years ago and I still miss dearly, but when I remember her this way it makes me smile.
So maybe I was wrong. I think my love of films has a lot to do with her.