How a Star Wars prequel led me to true love

A cute guy and ugly weather. This CNET executive's love story shows rain is better than sand.

Sasha Zullo
3 min read

Thank you, "Revenge of the Sith." The author and her husband, Mike Gorospe.

Sasha Zullo/CNET

Editors' note: As the 40th anniversary of Star Wars approaches, CNET staffers have been sharing personal stories of their connection to the space saga. Here, CNET's vice president of business development tells how she found love at first lightsaber. Got a Star Wars love story of your own? Share it in the comments.

A cute guy I barely knew invited me to wait in line with him for the first showing of "Revenge of the Sith" at midnight. Despite battling a nasty cold, I figured, why not? Though the other two prequels were disappointing, it'd be a good opportunity to get to know this guy. Besides, a few hours flirting in a theater lobby could distract me from my chills and runny nose.

I got to the theater early and was directed to wait in a dank, trash-infested alley quickly filling up with Star Wars nerds. The sky had just opened up, unleashing a torrent of Kamino-like rain. I'd only been there a few minutes, but already was rethinking this plan.

I was cold, wet and achy. My hair and makeup were wrecked from the rain. And I couldn't find Cute Guy anywhere. Which made the crowds, the smelly alley, and the idea of flirting about as desirable as washing one of Jabba's chins. At that point, I just wanted to bail and go to home to bed. Cute Guy be damned.

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But as I turned to leave, a blue lightsaber hummed to life, illuminating the elusive Cute Guy. He was holding an Obi-Wannabe's saber, marveling at its power. Cute Guy literally glowed blue, like Luke did in that dream-duel with Vader in Empire. My heart raced. This guy definitely possessed The Force. There was no way I could turn away now.

Eight hours later -- after lightsaber dueling with fellow SWAN (Star Wars Alley Nerds), who by then had become family; trying (and failing) at Star Wars trivia matches; and shamelessly flirting with Cute Guy -- we were finally allowed into the theater.


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As we got into the light, the Cute Guy looked at me, concerned: "You're really red. Everything OK?" I lied: "Oh, I'm fine. Just excited for the movie!" Truth was, I was hot, cold, sore and sleepy. It hurt to just breathe. But The Force compelled me to stay.

We settled into our seats and the movie started. I wish I could say I groaned with the crowd when Padme pleaded for Anakin to hold her like he did by the lake on Naboo. Or laughed with the SWAN at Anakin's "Noooooooooooo!"

But honestly, I didn't see any of it. As soon as that beloved crawl blasted onto the screen, I fell asleep. Hard. Unappealingly snoring and drooling on Cute Guy's shoulder.

Long after the movie ended, Cute Guy woke me and said, "You don't look too well. Let's get you home." I was beyond mortified and didn't say a word. Just get me home and never speak of me again, I thought. I will pretend this night never happened.

The next day, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. A few weeks later, we started dating. Six months after that, Cute Guy sent me the DVD of "Revenge of the Sith." One year later, we got married. It's been 10 years now, and these days we have lightsaber duels with our kids.

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