Rich here.

I don’t remember actually seeing Star Wars in the movie theater. I was six years old in 1977, and while I cannot remember the feelings of walking along the sticky theater floor, finding a seat I probably had to kneel on to see the screen from, and watching as the lights dimmed and John Williams assaulted my ears, I do remember standing with my father outside. In a line that stretched around the building. My lone image of this transformative day is of waiting near the back doors, my father beside me, wondering just what the big deal was.

Memories of the film itself come from the television in the living room of my childhood home. Not from years later, when VCRs invaded suburbia and VHS vs. Beta made the evening news, but that year. 1977. When I watched my very own copy of Star Wars on a three-quarter-inch professional video deck connected to our TV.

My father was recently shut out of a business he co-founded when his partner, who owned the majority share, decided to take everything. The company was contracting to place video decks on long-haul merchant ships and provide first-run movies to entertain the crews. The business fell apart after my dad left, and all he walked away with (so far as I know – he died when I was in high school) was that video player and three sets of tapes (each tape only held an hour). A documentary on the US Bicentennial celebration we attended as a family in NYC, the Wizard of Oz, and Star Wars.

Imagine being the only kid in your neighborhood – heck, possibly the entire state – with a copy of Star Wars at home in 1977 or 1978 (it’s possible I got the tape in 78, but I’m pretty sure it was 77). Tapes of higher quality than VHS or Beta; not that it mattered with our TV.

I watched Star Wars hundreds of times over the next few years. I watched it so many times that, to this day, I still start to get up to swap tapes every time the Millennium Falcon is pulled into the Death Star by the tractor beam. And, as has happened to so many others over the past 37 years, the film, and its sequels, didn’t merely influence my life, it defined it in many ways.

It is hard to know how anything truly affects you in the long term. But I have to assume the philosophies of the fictional jedi [Ed: Not entirely fictional. Wish fullfillment FTW!] pointed me in certain directions. To martial arts, public service, the study of Japanese history, an obsession with space and science, an attraction to women who kick ass, and a moral framework that prizes self-sacrifice and the protection of others. To bombing recklessly down a Pikes Peak hiking trail on my mountain bike, laughing hysterically as I dodged the trees like I was on a speeder bike. (I was working rescue – it was totally legit!).

So the day after Thanksgiving I fired up my Apple TV, went to the Trailers app, and shed a few tears over the next 88 seconds. More tears than I expected.

I never thought I would live to see a new Star Wars. A new story – not merely backstory with an inevitable ending. With the actors of my youth, playing the same characters. Written by the writer of Empire, and directed by the guy who saved Star Trek?!? And I certainly never thought I would be standing in line in a theater next December, holding the hand of my daughter, who will be the same age I was when it all started in 1977. (And her younger sister, but probably not the boy – he won’t even be 3 yet).

I realize I have been geeking out a lot lately here in the Summary, but for good reason. These are the tools I used to define myself as I built my identity. Perhaps not the same tools you used, and not the only tools, but certainly some of the most influential. I no longer need to look back on them nostalgically. I don’t need to relive my youth. I can once again make them part of my future, and perhaps drag my own children along with me.

It’s gonna be a hell of a year.

On to the Summary:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

  • Nada. No one loves us anymore.

Favorite Securosis Posts

  • Mike Rothman: Monitoring the Hybrid Cloud: Solution Architectures. These concepts will become a lot more important in 2015 as the lack of visibility in cloud-land becomes a higher profile issue.
  • Rich: Winding Down. Like Mike, I’m cramming, but also blocking some time to relax and refocus for the coming year. I can’t really say much, but it’s going to be a wild one.

Other Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

Research Reports and Presentations

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