I've noticed more than one confused stare in my direction when I've posed the question: what would you do if a vagina was eerily similar to the sarlacc? Granted, if the year was 1983 when Return of the Jedi had just hit theaters and thousands of movie-goers camped outside the doors, waited impatiently for George Lucas' latest installment of the Star Wars trilogy to blow their minds, perhaps, then, not so many of those looks would have crossed my path. It was ghastly enough I muttered the word "vagina," but such a term as "sarlacc" was not dainty by any standards; and so, when I pose the fateful question, it renders generally one of two answers: the ever-understood confusion or the quick smirk followed closely by the insightful "I'd still do her" remark. Not even teeth protruding from a woman's loins could stop a more-than-willing man from entering her, and after enough of these quips I realize I don't talk enough with serious Star Wars fans.

Sarlacc from Star Wars Return of the JediI can't be sure, but I have an idea as to how a serious Star Wars geek would approach such a question, and it usually ends with him or her walking away (maybe sprinting) from me, more than likely mumbling something in the form of "dumbass" under his or her breath. I can't pretend that I'm this sci-fi nerd bordering epic proportions. I pose questions regarding genitalia, therefore, I'm what you'd more than likely label a "buffoon." However, there is no denial with my fascination with Star Wars, my unyielding desire to repeat Han Solo quips and imagine that Darth Vader chopped off my hand before revealing that he helped create me. I wouldn't say that I envision myself a Jedi or even a Jedi-in-training. At the very least, I wish I could be that obsessed.

So at this impasse between dirty-minded average Jane and impassioned wannabe Jedi master, I volley from one side to the other, desiring both yet never feeling undoubtedly content in either. I want something greater than my existence, yet wane under the tremendous pressure that is memorizing character histories and plot developments. It's college all over again, but at an intergalactic and all too imaginary level, a place that feels normal and sacrificial at the same time.

Those mountain men were what I craved the most. I didn't want to be saved, and I did not want a happy ending.About this time of heightened ambition and doomed peril, I'll pop in The Empire Strikes Back. Out of the original trilogy, Episode V reigns supreme. I've argued this before, will continue to argue such important topics, and will continue to repeat in the same fashion: supreme. Perhaps not as mindblowing (cinematically) as Episode IV, but Empire has it all: engaging battle scenes, heightened passion between Han and Leia, Luke's quest for Jedi-dom, Yoda, and Darth Vader wins.

Yes, you read that correctly. He wins.

We are so used to the good guys coming out on top in movies: after the climatic rise to the end-all-be-all scene, all returns to normal, the guy gets the girl, and there is a party of some sort with banjo music. The world makes sense again. You are no longer on this roller coaster, looping through plot twists, and hurtling towards unforeseen disaster only to wind up slowing down and smiling because you are still latched inside the car. Darth Vader sears Luke's hand clean off, reveals that he is Luke's father, and leaves Luke for dead after he refuses to join him in his quest for intergalactic domination. As a child, you are left angry and baffled, and immediately pull out the video to quickly replace it with Episode VI. You want that bright and cheery ending. Now, as an adult, you aren't so sure and you watch Episode V repeatedly, inquisitively, obsessively.

Day is night, and light is dark. Your world is upside down, but you bask in it. You crave this difference, this newness, and you feel like death without it. You pine over the loss, and you sleep for days to forget. Growing up I imagined a world of mountain men—these huge, brave men who could swoop you to safety and make you food, who could fix a leak and scare other dangerous men away. These men were good, inherently so, and they craved damsels of the distressed variety. I fancied myself an aide-less woman in my wildest of daydreams, this elusive creature who could shockingly demand attention with the strength of her hips. But those mountain men were what I craved the most. I didn't want to be saved, and I did not want a happy ending that was exhaustingly cheerful. I wanted this man, and I wanted to elude him. I wanted drama and passion and, more than anything, obstacles. I wanted a dangerously complicated life like what I saw in the movies—the continual build-up.

Grippingly perfect, in my expert opinion that is, Empire is that cliffhanger, the ongoing drama that after three years was finally explained and relaxed movie-goers to a cheerful delight. (After all, what is not delightful about a party with Ewoks?) But that cliffhanger is what kept me awake years after it was made and released and re-released. I did not start off in the Star Wars world young. Though I had watched the original trilogy many times throughout my childhood, I only became invested and interested a few years ago. And, perhaps not surprisingly, I drowned myself in that world, consumed every inch of it until I was full and, even then, I'd continue onward, sinking further into those dreams and characters. And that is what we do initially with something so new: we dive in and exhaust every curve and hidden cove. We don't look back. Unapologetically, we alter our worlds.

Though the dramatic loops of Episode V are intoxicating, I eventually make it to Return of the Jedi, at least long enough to pose questions about sarlaccs and vaginas. Possibly unwarranted, I eventually crave that resolution as much as I did the drama. It's not that the ride must stop, must eventually be shut down for good. It can go on forever—I can ride it forever. But, as I watch Leia explain to Han that she cares for Luke because he is her brother and Luke comes to terms with his father and Ewoks aide rebel forces in destroying the shield generator, I sigh along with the rest of the kids out there who watched this as I did when I was their age. Hope is restored, faith is renewed, the universe makes sense again and we can all go on with our lives. And I feel silly and exhausted all at the same time. All of this drama I endured is gone, behind me along with the rest of my initial desires, but I still feel it on my back, walking closely only to remind me of why this resolution now is so much better, so much more appreciated than it could have been. And I can happily quip about sarlaacs, smile about Hoth winters, and sarcastically allude to Boba Fett's "keen" bounty hunting skills. I've earned those confused stares, sacrificed a part of me for those scoffs and eye rolls. Perhaps, that's all we ever can do.

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