Saturday, November 10, 2012

Project New Hope: A Night With R2D2

Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines was showing off its newly renovated Pediatric Intensive Care Unit yesterday. They were celebrating the changes with an evening event: "Project New Hope: A Night With R2D2." The Star Wars icon was to visit with patients in the Pediatric Unit. I wonder if any of them had any idea who R2D2 was?
I remember R2D2 and C3PO. I remember the hoopla about the 1977 Star Wars movie. It was nothing I ever cared about seeing. I had never been a fan of science fiction. But I did see the movie. I was blown away. I loved it. Harrison Ford as Han Solo was devilishly attractive, of course, but I was more drawn to Sir Alec Guinness's character, Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi. Until, that is the next Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980....

Little did I know that I would fall in love in a darkened movie theater. Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi were still looking good to me, but when Luke traveled to Dagobah for Jedi training with the Master Yoda, I soon fell for another.
Luke: "I want my lamp back. I'm going to need it to get out of this slimy mudhole."
Yoda: "Mudhole? Slimy? My home this is!"
Yoda: "I am wondering, why are you here?"
Luke: "I'm looking for someone."
Yoda: "Looking? Found someone you have, I would say, hmmm?"
Luke: "Right...."
Yoda: "Help you I can. Yes, mmmm."
Luke: "I don't think so, I'm looking for a great warrior."
Yoda: "Ohhh, great warrior. Wars not make one great."

Yoda was so wise, so all-knowing, so cute. Did I cry in the next Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, when 900-year-old Yoda died?
Luke: "Master Yoda, you can't die."
Yoda: "Strong am I with the Force, but not that strong. Twilight is upon me, and soon night must fall. That is the way of things. The way of the Force."

You bet I cried. And I did something else very unlike me; I bought a Yoda character. He stands on my bookshelf wisely contemplating the signs on the rock in front of him. I imagine him approving the one word message carved there: BE.

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