A New Hope

Prompt: Hope | Word Count: 500 words exactly | Genre: fiction

April 2, 2020

It was Day Forty of our confinement. Sequestered in our home, my family unused to being cooped up together, was beginning to fray around the edges. There wasn’t enough space. Our usual activities had been curtailed. Online classes dragged. Teleworking lost its appeal. We were bored, losing patience with our situation and with each other.

We were ripping through videos at an astounding pace. We’d already run through all the new Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming series we could agree on as a family. Each time we tuned into to watch, snark abounded and tempers flared. And that’s when we hit upon the thing that gave us all hope. Naturally, it started on May 4, 2020. My youngest son suggested it. “You know, today is May the Fourth. There’s really only one possible choice.” Our inner geeks rose to the challenge immediately.

We would watch the Star Wars saga from start to finish. But from what start to what finish? Our heated debate over the order in which to watch the movies lasted over an hour. Luke order or Anakin order? The older among us ultimately prevailed and we elected to watch all ten movies in release order. There was a rare consensus to skip the animated Clone Wars and the TV series and stick to the major movie releases. We started with Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope, and decided to sort out when to watch Rogue One in a later debate.

Dum de dum dum, Dum de dum dum …. The John Williams score grabs our attention as words scroll across the screen: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …” For the next two hours we’re glued to the screen, pulled into Luke Skywalker’s intergalactic adventure. We’ve all seen it before, so we can speak the lines right along with the cast.

For the entire following day we all spouted out the movies most memorable lines whenever and wherever we could work them into our daily grind. When served runny eggs for breakfast, junior parroted Han Solo, “I got a bad feeling about this.” When Mom asked Dad to reach a book on the top shelf, he obliged and quoted Princess Leia, “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” When the news played the latest virus statistics, Mom uttered a mechanically-accented “ We’re doomed,” C-3PO style. When the chore list was divvied up along with stern instructions on how to carry out new sanitizing requirements, the kids groaned, then cried in unison, “I find your lack of faith disturbing,” in their best Vader voices. So on and so forth throughout the day.

As we watched the rest of the saga together as a family over the next two weeks, we found a new levity infused our captivity. Each and every time bad news threatened, we echoed Leia’s plea, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!” In this way, we laughed and joked through the remainder of our shelter in place lockdown.

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