The Downside of Seeing Star Wars for the First Time


I had just turned seven when the original Star Wars came out in 1977. I don’t remember what channel of advertising made it through to me, but I was completely obsessed with Star Wars. I was counting the days until the movie came out and made my mom take me to the theater to see it on opening weekend.

I remember vividly feeling so excited at every frame of the movie. That screening remains one of the most lucid memories of my childhood. The problem was that I had consumed an entire large soda, and by the time the Rebels were gearing up to storm the Death Star, I really had to pee.

There was no conceivable way that I was leaving the theater at that moment, so I just crossed my legs and tried desperately to make it to the end. As Luke was making his final approach to the thermal exhaust port, however, the excitement of the movie was just too much to bear. I eventually relaxed and just let ‘er rip, completely wetting my pants. I sat there in my own urine, not saying a word to my mom until the lights went up.

When they did, she was really mad at me. I was, as she said at the time, far too old for this to happen. She, grabbed my arm and marched me into the ladies room to clean me up. I remember also being completely mortified at being in the ladies room. I tried to convince her to instead join me in the men’s room, but she didn’t bite on whatever my argument was.

My main point, if there is one other than offering up my memory of public humiliation, is that my thoughts on this incident are the same today as they were then. My mom was wrong. I totally made the right decision.

Tim League is founder/CEO of Alamo Drafthouse.