The Meaning of Objects and the Dagobah Frog Habitat

I overheard somebody the other day dragging on Star Wars.  What bad acting, what bad storylines, bad scripting, blah blah blah.  I wanted to smack them.

They clearly don’t get it about movies or “films”.  It not how they are made, although that’s fun to discuss endlessly over dinner, or whether they are good or bad [this is actually just how some people earn a living].  It’s about how the movie makes you feel.  If you don’t feel joy, anger, fear about a particular movie that’s perfectly acceptable, but you don’t have to slag it.  As my mother said, if you can’t say something nice …

Anyway, I loVe Star Wars.  I remember the first time I saw Part IV Star Wars: A New Hope in the spring of 1977 with my sister Cori.  I was just about to graduate from high school and was feeling very optimistic about my future because I was working, had a car and was about to move into my first apartment with my BFF, Sandy Penman.


Cori [aka Catherine Pentland Design] and I exited the theatre skipping and humming the theme song.  It was a day that stuck in my memory so that when I see objects reminding me of that day, I get a rush of pleasure.  Like last fall when I was cruising Value Village and came across an AT-AT for $15 bucks.  As an adult, even as a huge Star Wars Fan, I could never justify spending $130 on a “toy”, but for $15, SOLD. Very quickly my three year old granddaughter showed me all the buttons, lights and gizmos and another fan was born.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a pack rat or a collector, but there are enough objects in my house to create an eclectic theme.  Art.  Books.  Movies.  Rugs.  Arts and Crafts Furniture.  Lots of things with texture.  As an anthropologist, though, I have noted that it is not the objects themselves that have meaning.  It is the meaning itself.  What we endow the objects with.  As a elderly person moves from the family home into a hospice, we see a momentary flush of pain.  It’s not loss of objects causing their pain, but the meaning of a place and of a time in our lives that we grieve.  You might note how that elder can let the house go if it’s going to a family he or she likes.  It honours and gives value to their memories.


Yesterday, I found this Death Star Planetarium for $5 bucks.  I didn’t know whether it worked or not, but I thought it might make a lovely table chachka.  It only took three new batteries to light up the Star Wars galaxy including familiar planets like Endor, Naboo and Princess Leia Organa’s home planet of Alderaan.  This is strange since the planet Alderaan was blown up by the Death Star and shouldn’t be there at all.  One of life’s little contrasts.


I was struck with wonder thinking of who had owned it and how they were ready to part with it?  Then, how it might be of comfort as a night light for my granddaughter’s sleepovers.  It’s now very difficult, having found two film treasures, not to be skulking about at Value Village when I should be working … but I am really hoping to find a Dagobah Frog Habitat.  Something else to help me pass on my memories, my loVe of nature and Star Wars, to a new generation.

Have you ever found a film treasure?