OPINION: ‘Star Wars’ — an everlasting legacy between siblings


Photo courtesy of David James / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rey, a Jakku scavenger, and Finn, an ex-First Order stormtrooper, flee to the Millennium Falcon for coverage in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’ California Legislature announced May 4 will officially ‘Star Wars Day.’

Reanna Simmons

The moment Luke Skywalker lost his right hand in his second interaction with Darth Vader in Cloud City, my heart sunk.

I was 8 years old when I was first introduced to the original Star Wars trilogy.

I sat in the loveseat in my grandpa’s house wide-eyed, confused and anxious. This was one of my favorite memories because my dad had just left my mother for the second time, taking my brother and I with him, and we just moved from Rio Linda to Sacramento.

Since then, “Star Wars” has been apart of my life in some way or another and some of my best memories are “Star Wars” related.

My brother and I grew up playing video games like most children do. We played the original “Star Wars: Battlefront,” and “Star Wars: Battlefront II.”

I enjoyed playing these games alongside my brother because growing up, we were all that each other we had. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom wasn’t in the picture, but watching the “Star Wars” movies and playing the video games were happy times.

One Christmas, my brother and I asked for a Playstation 2. We took a chance and when we asked for it we asked to get the new “Lego Star Wars: The Video Game.” It had been out for quite some time, but we kept our hopes up.

When Christmas finally rolled around, we ran into the living room and unwrapped the medium to large box. Once we got the wrapping off, we were excited to see Santa left us the Playstation 2, along with  “Lego Star Wars: The Video Game” we wanted.

This is one of my favorite memories because my little brother had such a short temper at the time and from what I recall is he would get so angry with me because I wasn’t listening to him while we were playing.

I found his short temper to be so entertaining because that’s what older siblings do — they make fun and laugh at one another until the other one storms out of the room.

Aside from playing video games, I would play with Bratz Dolls with my friends and I remember being so infatuated with Anakin Skywalker that I actually drew a scar over my male Bratz Doll’s eye.

When I got older and eventually stopped playing video games and toys, I would still watch the movies from time to time.

A year after I graduated from high school in 2015, “The Force Awakens,” came out. I knew I had to see it. My best friend lives in Washington and she would come visit every Christmas. Her first Christmas back from Washington we planned to go see it.

In anticipation to go see it, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that I was finally going to see it after seeing all the news I was hearing around the movie. When the movie was more than halfway over, and Han Solo is walking on the platform towards Kylo Ren I had this gut wrenching feeling.

The moment came with the two of them standing  in front of one another and making small talk, but then suddenly Kylo Ren took his lightsaber and stabbed Han right in the stomach.

I froze. My tears filled my eyes and I was devastated. I couldn’t believe they just killed off Han Solo.

This was especially hard for me to watch because Rey, a Jakku scavenger, saw Han almost as this fatherly figure and I think for me it really resonated for me. Rey did not have anyone, no parents or siblings. I could not help feel the sadness from her character.

On May 2, California Legislature officially declared May 4 as “Star Wars Day.” A few days prior, Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew died.

Mayhew died on Tuesday, April 30. He played Chewbacca in episodes — IV, V, VI, III, and VII.

When I found out May 4 would officially be recognized as “Star Wars Day,” I was overjoyed, but I was incredibly saddened over the news of Mayhew’s death and I couldn’t help but think if only he was alive for such a huge announcement.

At the end of this month, I am fortunate enough to go to Disneyland the week of the unveil of “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” and I’m exhilarated.

When I mention that after graduation I’m going to Disneyland I get negative responses on how it’s going to be incredibly busy, yet I could care less. I’m fortunate enough to see the unveiling of “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” and that alone is insane.

I love that “Star Wars” has shaped into this massive legacy. I can only imagine what it was like when “Star Wars” first premiered back in 1977.