Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors.
As I sit in a large and very packed theatre, eagerly awaiting the beginning of Star Wars: the Force Awakens, I realize how familiar everything around me feels. Although I’ve never been in this theatre before, the pure anticipation I feel, the nostalgic aroma of buttered popcorn and the essential little round lights high above me that slowly dim as the previews begin all make me feel at home.
It really doesn’t feel much different than when I watched the last Star Wars film in theatres, back in 2005. I was eight at the time. I remember bringing my toy lightsaber to the theatre with me and also how nervous and scared I was sitting there, surrounded by so many different people. I’ve come a long way since then. But even though I’ve grown up, that indescribable pre-film elation and the innate ability to disappear into an imaginary world has endured.
One of the things that makes movies, books, songs and other forms of art so special is that they don’t change after we finish them — we do. As we grow up and change, they continue to exist just the way they were when we first encountered them and became subtle, yet evocative, little bookmarks for different chapters of our lives.
Think of that Disney film you used to watch over and over way back when. Think of when you heard your grad song on the radio years after your graduation. Think of the Harry Potter books you’ve re-read countless times over the years that still sit on your bookshelf at home. Songs, scenes and stories can suddenly take us back to different moments in our lives. They remind us of who we were and what we were like, of how far we’ve come and who we’ve become.
Movies, books, songs and other forms of art become subtle, yet evocative, little bookmarks for different chapters of our lives.
Although all these stories were written and created by other people, we make them our own. They become a part of us. It’s impossible to imagine what it’d be like without them, especially during the most difficult of times. Art eases our pain. No matter how alone and lost you feel, and no matter how unnerving and strange the world around you may seem, you will always be able to open that book, play that song, watch that movie and experience that irreplaceable comfort of entering an imaginary world.
Because of art, we can never truly be alone. Because of art, you’ll still have something even when you feel like you’ve lost everything.
The most extraordinary thing about art, though, is the profound way in which it brings each and every one of us together. Whether it’s sentimental stories, tear-jerking tunes or cherished characters, a shared love of art can transcend age, race, class, gender, religion and anything else that may potentially divide us. When we gather together in theatres or concert halls, we become united in pure and absolute love for these works of art that will always give us comfort and joy.
Even if it’s just for a moment, we become one.
I notice, all of a sudden, that the screen above me has gone black and a pleasant tension has spread throughout the audience. The theatre is dead silent. For a moment, not a single breath is taken. I sit up a little straighter in my seat.
Accompanied by a euphoric eruption from John William’s most beloved piece, the Star Wars logo triumphantly bursts on the screen and lights up the entire theatre.
Whether it be the 18 year old who’s back after a 10 year wait, or the parent who fell in love with the original 1977 film as a teenager or the child who’s about to discover a whole new world, each and every single person in this theatre is about to be taken on a dazzling and absolutely sensational journey. It’s a shared experience. And this experience will hold a special place in all of our hearts long after the final credits have rolled and we make our way out the theatre doors.