In “‘Star Wars’: Their First Time,” the New York Times asks an eclectic group of luminaries from the worlds of film and television—along with Sen. Ted Cruz—to describe how they fell in love with George Lucas’ game-changing 1977 space opera. It’s a fun sidebar to Times film critic A.O. Scott’s lovely, elegiac essay “‘Star Wars,’ Elvis, and Me,” in which he says that “Luke, lightsabers, and the Force” “defined [his] generation” as surely as Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll had defined the previous one.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course. As eager fans await the release of “The Force Awakens”—the trailer for which has already amassed more than 50 million views—the remembrances, reconsiderations, and, yes, hand-wringing is sure to reach fever pitch. Consider yourself warned.
Check out a few highlights from the Grey Lady’s coverage below:
Paul Feig (“Spy,” “Ghostbusters”)
“[T]he weird thing was, I had built it up in my brain so much that when it ended, I actually had a moment of being a little let down. Because I had expected even more.”
Trey Parker (“South Park,” “The Book of Mormon”)
“I had a Bigfoot action figure from ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’; he had a fleshy, human face. So I painted his face brown and went to school and said, ‘Look, everyone, I got Chewbacca!’ People freaked out. For two weeks, I was the coolest kid in school.”
Sam Rockwell (“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”)
“I slept on my dad’s foot in line, because I was that small, I could use his foot as a pillow. And the line was around the block — I think it was even six months after it had been playing [in San Francisco]. I saw it at the Coronet, and it blew the top of my head off.”
Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)
“I cried when I saw Yoda. Hormones, hormones and ‘Star Wars.’ That’s why children should watch ‘Star Wars’ and not 21-year-old women, because you get very maternal toward Yoda. Super-maternal.”
Ridley Scott (“The Martian”)
“I’ve never known audience participation like it, absolutely rocking. I felt my ‘Duellist’ was this big [holds thumb and forefinger an inch apart], and George had done that [stretches arms out wide]. I was so inspired I wanted to shoot myself.”