(Jonathan Ryan posting for Jen Schlameuss-Perry.)
Saturday night I purchased a Star Wars album on iTunes because my stupid phone won’t let me have my Star Wars CD on it since it last updated. Anyhoo… I got to listen to the album on my way to work Sunday morning, rather loudly, in my car. This particular version comes with the “Fox Fanfare” and then goes into the “Main Title” for A New Hope. I often have an emotional response (not bawling or anything) to some of the Star Wars music; particularly Princess Leia’s theme and the Throne Room Finale—but that morning, going from the “Fox Fanfare” into the “Main Title” really got me. It was like all the excitement of every Thanksgiving night that I can remember as a kid, when there was a Star Wars marathon on and my whole family would settle down in front of the TV with leftover sandwiches to watch all three movies, the joy of seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater with my Dad and siblings, the honor of hearing John Williams conduct the Boston Pops on Independence Day at the Clam Shell all came rushing back on me.
And for your listening pleasure, I offer this YouTube collection of Mr. Williams and the Boston Pops…
My heart swelled with the music and I could feel the tympani in my ribcage (as I said, it was a little loud in my car)—it was nostalgic, and it rallied me for dealing with what could potentially be a pretty rough situation at work. And, of course, when the “Imperial March” came on, that put me in an especially good mindset—‘cause that’s my jam. It also made me a tiny bit, completely excited for the upcoming movies. Dang it. I was trying really hard to stay in that place of cool detachment that allows perhaps, hopeful expectation—the reserved interest of cautious optimism. But, I’m sunk. I’m full-in psyched.
Like many elderly nerds, I didn’t like the last three movies that came out—not for any fierce protectiveness of the old ones (although, my husband might give you a conflicting report on that)—but because I have eyes and ears and a sense of what makes a good story. And they offended all of those things. I won’t run through the litany—we all know what I’m talking about.
Later that Sunday morning at Mass, we were celebrating First Holy Communion for our 2nd graders. I was very focused on making sure they were doing what they were supposed to and not very focused on the Mass. Then, the choir started singing, “We Are Many Parts” which tugged me right back to Masses past—to some very meaningful moments. And my attention was where it should be again.
Music soothes the savage beast, the soul, and all kinds of things. It transports, transforms and inspires. It’s powerful stuff. I guess that’s why sports figures have a song played for their intro. That’s probably also why Tolkien used the composition of a song to express how creation happened in the Silmarillion. And now I can’t wait to see what new associations will be forged in my memory as The Force Awakens.
Jen Schlameuss-Perry is a massive fan of sci-fi, cartoons and superheroes and loves to write about them in light of her Catholic tradition. She currently works for a Catholic Church and practices martial arts, cares for her family and pets and writes in her spare time. Check out some of Jen’s other stuff on her Facebook page or her website.