1997 was a big year. I didn't know it at the time, but my 16th year on the planet would wind up being a pretty significant revolution around the sun.
For one thing, 1997 was the year George Lucas re-released the Special Editions of the original Star Wars trilogy. Having been born in the early 80s, I never saw any of those three films I loved dearly in the theater until that year.
It wasn't until 2006 we discovered that my future husband and I were waiting in the same midnight movie line for the same movie at the same time, and had no idea. I was dressed as slightly chubby Episode IV Leia-buns Princess Leia. He does not dress up, ever. We are mutually embarrassed about this situation, but the fact is that yes. It was fate. Or maybe the Force. I will admit the possibility that it was neither of those, but only grudgingly.
1997 was also the year I actually said something to my future husband for the first time, though we were both awkward (I kid. I was the only one who was awkward) and ran in different circles, but we met in 1997. We just had no idea we both loved some silly space opera enough to wait in line for tickets and then wait in line for hours AGAIN just to get in the theater first.
(For the record, I was much further ahead in line. Which is... cool? No, no it isn't.)
1997 is significant for a number of reasons, but for me, the fact that we both care a lot about this silly space opera suggests a lot about the two of us that brought us together and ultimately, done got us hitched. It was an important year.
Yesterday, tickets for Episode VII went on sale.
Naturally, we attempted to secure tickets to The Force Awakens on opening night. As far as I was concerned, there was no chance whatsoever we would no be seeing The Force Awakens on opening night. We are not novices to this, we are excellent line-waiters, and I was fairly cockily confident that everything would be fine and we would have tickets in no time. And naturally, every website in the entire universe crashed (actually not true, my library's website was just fine), because WHADDAYA KNOW, WE AREN'T THE ONLY STAR WARS PEOPLE IN THE UNIVERSE. After three fruitless hours of not using streaming Netflix for fear of disrupting our payments, getting to the payment page only to see the "submit payment" button disappear, and getting 505 errors... he suggested something.
"Why don't we just try the theater?" he said.
"I'm ON THE THEATER SITE. It's down!" said I, stupid neanderthal.
"No, what if we try to GO TO THE THEATER?"
"...oh. Um. Would they have tickets in person? Can we do that? That's a great idea. Do you think they have tickets?"
So we tried that. I attempted to call the theater in our hometown where we were planning on going to the movie - unsurprisingly even after a dozen tries, it was still busy. So we loaded up the dog and hopped in the car in our jammies.
On the highway, we discovered all the ramps to the interstate we needed were blocked by police cars and flares. ALL OF THEM. Have I mentioned that at this point it was nearing 11:00 pm? And we were in pjs? With a dog?
Since we were already on the highway and about ten minutes from a semi-inconvenient theater near my job, I suggested we try there and then go to bed. Because we were already in the car, in our pjs, with our dog, and I NEEDED STAR WARS TICKETS.
The Husband dropped me off near the theater (I ran to three doors before I found the right one - yes, ran), and I ran up the stairs (who puts a movie theater upstairs?)... to find them... OPEN.
There were two other gentlemen there speaking with a twentysomething theater employee, so I turned to the available teenager and asked whether they were selling Star Wars tickets? Indeed, they ARE selling Star Wars tickets! Oh, but their servers went down literally ten minutes before I walked in.
It was as though the universe did not want us to get these Star Wars tickets.
The very kind theater manager offered to buy myself and the two other nerds a round while they called their IT department and attempted to reboot the servers, maybe twenty minutes? Oh, I would wait twenty minutes. We would all be happy to wait twenty minutes.
It was now 11:00 at night.
Twenty minutes and four tries by some intrepid teenage movie theater employees later, the server was up and running, and we had Star Wars tickets. The Husband was walking the dog in circles around the mall parking lot this entire time and called EXACTLY as the tickets were printing.
It was midnight by the time we got home, an entire evening devoted to this enterprise. This was the first year I felt like I might be getting too old for all this - but I thought about it, and no. Star Wars is a silly movie, but it's still important to us. If we ever have kids, I hope they know what it's like to wait in a stupid line with people you don't even know just because you all love the same thing, a lot. You meet awesome people in those lines, and hey, future kid we may or may not ever have, your parents were in one of those lines.
So maybe the universe didn't mean to stop us from seeing Star Wars on opening night, but wanted to give us a Monday night adventure.