I'm going to post something about a spoiler for the new Star Wars movie. I know it's still pretty new, and people are still pretty sensitive, so if you're concerned about The Force Awakens spoilers, turn back now.
I don't fully remember this, but I do have some vague recollection. I'm told that the first time I saw The Empire Strikes Back, I did something. I'd watched the original episode back when it was just known as Star Wars many times. I had it on a Beta tape with scenes that were cut from the theatrical movie. I watched it obsessively.
But the first time I saw The Empire Strikes Back? I freaked out. You remember the scene. Luke and Vader have been fighting for a good deal of the climax, and finally, near the end, Vader savagely severs Luke's lightsaber hand.
I'm told that when I saw this scene for the first time, I screamed. I jumped up and ran into my mother's arms, weeping my eyes out and kissing her face, begging her to let it not be true. It horrified me beyond all belief. It's the second piece of fiction to have ever hurt me. (The first being the end of Night of the Living Dead. But that's a story for another day.)
Fast forward a few decades. I'm watching the new Star Wars movie, and there's a scene that makes me feel like I did when I saw Luke's hand get cut off.
You know the scene. But don't get me wrong: it's not the moment when Kylo Ren's lightsaber goes through Han Solo's chest. No.
It's seconds later, when Han Solo caresses his son's face before he falls off the OSHA-disapproved bridge. That one moment, his hand on his son's face, that I felt the very same as when I was a kid watching Luke's hand fly off into oblivion. The young-dumb-full-of-cum Han Solo we met in episode 4 would never have done that. The aged, knowledgeable Han Solo he became? It hurts my heart just thinking about it.
If my mother was still alive, I probably wouldn't have done the same thing. I would have gone to her and told her about it, though. I miss her. We had a lot of problems, but goddammit. I miss her.
Fuck. For the most part, I've healed from my mother's death. Every once in a while, though, it sneaks up on me, and it cripples me. I have tears in my eyes right now. It hurts after all these years. I cry uncontrollably. I can't help it.
I miss you, Mom. Thank you for teaching me that endings don't have to be happy with Night of the Living Dead. And thank you for showing me that heroes struggle. They don't always make it through in one piece. I wouldn't be the writer I am today without you.