by Beth Saadati
I thought it would never come.
Anticipation knots my stomach as I lean back in the movie seat while too many previews play. Then, finally, it’s there. The new VII.
Just like before, it begins with the familiar orchestrated theme song. The “A long time ago” text. The Star Wars logo over a black field of stars. The yellow slanted words—the opening crawl—summarizing events that transpired since the last film one generation past.
Suddenly I’m that 9-, 11-, and 14-year-old girl who sat in the theater mesmerized by the original release of IV, V, and VI. Who listened to the screenplay and soundtrack records—my treasured Christmas gifts—again and again. Who pounded out John Williams’ score on the piano, the way my son does now, and read through the Scholastic-ordered book trilogy until the pages were worn. Who talked all-things Star Wars and quoted movie lines during a fourth-grade sleepover with a favorite friend until his digital R2-D2 watch blinked 5 a.m.
On the screen before me, the tale unfolds. Awed by the seamless merging of new and old, I connect with characters from the movies I loved. Themes resonate with me—of remaining faithful to friends, of choosing to fight, of clinging to hope while resolving to wait. The clock creeps toward midnight but, immersed in story, I stay wide awake.
Midway through the movie, however, it hits me. As I watch the saga continue, the 32-year delay since the release of VI seems barely more than a blip in time.
I turn my head away, distracted by a thought—that in another 32 years my life on earth will most likely be coming to its close. Then this forever-wait for the daughter I long to once again see will be done. And, from that side, the lengthy time-lapse will seem brief—maybe even shorter than it does right here, right now, looking back.
I return my gaze to the screen, still marveling at the mystery—at the tangible hope and reason to hold on—when the scene appears. The hurt of goodbye. The tender forehead kiss. The soft words spoken in faith, “We'll see each other again. I believe that.”
Tears pool behind my eyes. For a moment I close them to hold emotion back then whisper the reminder inside my head. It’ll be a long three decades on this side without you, Jenna. But we'll see each other again.
In the meantime, there are battles to fight and people to love. But of one thing I am sure.
When I do see my daughter, time will be bridged as the story moves on. The long-awaited sequel will captivate me even more than Star Wars has this night. And I will not be disappointed.