My Junior year of high school, I had Mr. Hughes for English Lit. He really opened my eyes to the world of literature. One of the lasting legacies of learning under him was my understanding of the art of tragedy. Mr. Hughes helped me realize that the Star Wars trilogy wasn’t really about Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Jawas, and Ewoks. It was really the Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker.
Now, with the coming of the Prequels, this might not be that big of a deal. Of course it’s the story of the rise, fall, and ultimate redemption of the Chosen One. But fifteen years ago, there was no Prequel. We only had the Original Trilogy. And the realization that Star Wars is about Anakin blew my mind. It revolutionized how I watched the films.
There was one class session, however, where Mr. Hughes and I had a spirited disagreement about the final scene of Return of the Jedi. He was discussing how Jedi was about Anakin’s redemption and he said, “Even at the end of the movie, they’re calling attention to Lord Vader when the choir sings, ‘Celebrate the lord,’ and the closing credits come up” (obviously, this is paraphrased).
“No they don’t,” I interrupted. “They don’t sing ‘Celebrate the lord.’ It’s ‘Celebrate the love.'”
“No. I’m pretty sure it’s lord,” he replied. Then he continued on his monologue.
You’re wrong, I thought. I know it’s love. But I could never prove it.
Five years later, I was finally able to purchase the Star Wars Anthology and it included the lyrics to the Ewok Celebration. Do you know what the final line is? That’s right…Celebrate the LOVE.
So…if anyone still talks to Mr. Hughes or if you happen to run into him in the grocery store or your local Barnes & Noble, please inform him that I was, in fact, right. I’m sure he’s been tossing and turning about it for 15+ years.
Quoth the Emperor: “Young fool, only now – at the end – do you understand.”
Or something like that.
The Ewok Celebration is something that’s near and dear to my heart. I still get goose bumps from time to time when I hear it. It doesn’t hurt that we used it as part of our Recessional at our wedding (have I mentioned recently how awesome my wife is for agreeing to that?).
I’m still disappointed that they decided to remove it from the “Special” Edition re-release back in ’97. They changed it once. I’d prefer to see them change it again. Something tells me there’s a better chance of making Han shoot first than the return of the Ewok Celebration.
But one can hope. Maybe Sir Lucas will figure out that he’ll make more money that somehow if he changes it back. But until that day, at least we’ll have Ewok Karaoke.
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