This is the 31st post in a daily series. Read about it here and see the list of previous posts here. A new post about “Star Wars” will be posted every day for 40 days leading up to the franchise’s 40th birthday on May 25th.
When the first trailers for “The Force Awakens” were released, many fans recorded videos of themselves seeing the trailers for the first time. There were many videos, but perhaps the most joyful and adorable one came from a Dutch priest.
The Rev. Roderick Vonhögen lives in Amersfoort in the Netherlands. He is an avid pop culture fan who uses the media to promote teachings of Catholic faith through his Star Quest Production Network.
On his reaction video, which has since garnered 1.4 million views, Father Roderick showed an earnest, unassuming awe, void of any cynicism. The delight he took in seeing the preview resonated with many fans, who could all too easily relate to Father Roderick’s hope.
I mean, come on. It would take the heart of Palpatine to not find that video fun and endearing. His social media accounts reveal that his wide-eyed excitement is genuine, and that he geeks out on “Star Wars” quite often.
And it’s adorable.
A few days after that video, he posted another video. This time, he analyzed that trailer and offered some theories:
Then, after a second trailer came out, Father Roderick recorded another reaction video:
And when he finally got to see the movie, he did it in style: with his brother at the premiere in Amsterdam.
After which he was interviewed by CBC News in Canada. By this time, Father Roderick had seen the movie twice. He eventually saw it at least three more times.
Of course, Father Roderick continued his tradition of reaction videos, recording one for the first “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” trailer…
…And the second trailer…
…And most recently, he recorded a reaction to “The Last Jedi.”
And even though we have seen him react multiple times over the last few years, it doesn’t get old. Father Roderick reacts no differently than how many of us did when watching it, and he makes no apologies for it. He embraces what he loves and feels no shame for geeking out on it. Seeing him mesmerized at the sight of an X-wing or a familiar character reminds us of the power of this series at its best: it melts away our jaded exterior and takes us back to that childlike wonder we had when we first saw the movies.
Though it’s hard to picture Father Roderick as ever having been jaded. Just watch this video of him and a Darth Vader helmet made out of chocolate:
The Force be with you, Father Roderick. (And also with you).