May the Fourth

This Friday is a special show for Automatic. We’re taking down that facade of coolness that we usually project and going all out nerd. Friday, May fourth, will be our Star Wars tribute show. I would now highlight all the wonderful things about Star Wars but. . . I don’t actually know anything about it.

Star Wars, to me, is like the Bible. People quote it or reference it a lot and I kind of know what it’s from, but not really. I usually just go along with it so people don’t think I’m a horrible person.

So, to compensate for my own lack of knowledge, I asked other members of Automatic Improv to let me know what Star Wars means to them. Please enjoy!

From Keith- our oldest and wisest!

I’m so old that the original Star Wars came out at the end of my freshman year in high school.   You, who have grown up with some form of Star Wars always in the cultural waters like fluoride, can scarcely imagine the way that first film shook up kid culture.  It was what all boys (and many girls) talked and dreamed about.   My friends David, Rob, and I would spend lunches enacting our own comedy version of the Death Star battle on our cafeteria table with milk cartons, apples, and whatever else was handy.

From Sarah- our hottest Star Wars fan!

My “besties” as a kid were four boys: Evan, Billy, Danny & Key. We were all the same age living on the same block in Indianapolis. They were all IN LOVE with Star Wars. I wasn’t a huge fan, but I liked playing pretend with the action dolls… but I mostly put-up with Star Wars, so I could hang-out with my friends.

Not too much has changed I guess… I do look pretty hot with Princess Leia buns.

From Bill- our sappiest Star Wars fan!

When we were in elementary school, if my brother and I did all our chores and behaved well, at the end of the month my Mom and Dad would give us each a brand new Star Wars toy figure. I remember never being disappointed with who it happened to be, and they would always surprise us: Darth Vader, Boba Fet, Lando Calrissian. In particular, I loved the toy of the blue guy who played the keyboards in Jabba’s palace. We even had a Jabba the Hut toy with a trapdoor to send Luke into the Rancor pit.

I did and still do love the original trilogy. So much so that every horrible change that George Lucas makes to the beloved originals sincerely hurts my soul. I want children to be able to experience the Star Wars I experienced: the world where Han shoots first, and where Darth Vader doesn’t yell “Nooooooo!” when killing the Emperor but rather shows us through his actions his rejection of the dark side- by sacrificing himself in one final triumphant act of love for his son who never stopped believing in him. We didn’t need the “Noooooo!”, George. Please, if you’re reading this, give us back the originals in their original form. And may the force be with you.

From John- our host for Friday!

I’m a bigger fan of Star Wars parody than of the actual series. When I was a kid, I thought Spaceballs was supposed to be Episode VII. I really get a kick out of the more current Star Wars parodies too; like Family Guy’s Blue HarvestRobot Chicken: Star Wars,or Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

From Jan- our most succinct Star Wars fan!

Star Wars, to me, is chasing my brother around the house with a blanket on my back tied like a cape holding a lightsaber made entirely out of Legos.

From Kevin- our most diehard Star Wars fan!

Most boys grow up obsessing over sports teams, cool bands, or fast cars. Not me. I spent my childhood dreaming of a galaxy far, far away. A galaxy full of smugglers, bounty hunters, rebels, droids, Sith lords, and Jedi knights. Thanks to an endless stream of toys, trading cards, books, comics, and a very addictive roleplaying game, I now know way more than any normal person ever should about assassin droids and carbon freezing.

And no matter how many pointless special editions and infuriating prequels they make, I will always be a lifelong Star Wars fan.

From Robert- our most retro Star Wars fan!

Star Wars will always be that one betamax (IV) and two VHS tapes (V & VI) given pride of place on my tape shelf and watched at the foot of the bed, wired remote in hand to skip through the “boring” Yoda scenes. (ah, the folly of youth!) These images, words, and sounds were absorbed into the deepest, most immutable parts of my memory….sadly this includes the terribly distorted transfer ofEmpire, which was a bootleg film transfer and squeezed from letterbox to 4:3 so everyone looked skinny and tall. To this day I can’t watch it without thinking how incredibly short and fat everything is.

From Randy- our biggest Star Wars convert!

I didn’t grow up with Star Wars.  A kid on my bus in fifth grade was talking about it and talking about how cool it was. I didn’t know what he was talking about, I didn’t even know it was a ‘thing’. Later, my parents bought the box set and I watched it and fell in love. When I was thirteen, I had a Star Wars marathon party and for each video I wrote a list of trivia questions  and gave out prizes.

Now my nephew watches them and he’s crazy about it. He is eight and home-schooled and I worry that he doesn’t spend enough time with kids his own age. Knowing that he’s into Star Wars, though, makes me feel like he’ll be all right. He’ll always have someone to talk to.

From Rickey- always the coolest one of us!

I’ve only seen Return of the Jedi and the Phantom Menace. (I know that it’s a crime!) The special effects were amazing and I loved the story. Also, everytime that Lando appears I shout out, “Hey! Its the guy from the Colt 45 commercials!”

From Nick- our biggest believer!

Star Wars, to me, is magic for scientists. There was a point in fifth grade when I had seen all the movies and had read all the books. My friend and I were so convinced it was real that we almost convinced each other that we were Jedi. We knew consciously that we didn’t make something wiggle but we both willingly suppressed what was happening in favor of being a Jedi.

Discover your inner Jedi this Friday evening at 8pm at Relapse Theatre. Wear something Star Wars and get your ticket for half-price. Wear a full costume and get in for free! The night will be improv inspired by Star Wars and your happiest nerd memories.

May the Fourth be with you!


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