For many millennials who grew up in the 1990's, news of Robin Williams' death instantly brought up memories of his roles in the films of our childhood. Whether it's "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Jumanji," as the voice of the genie in "Aladdin," the voice of Batty Koda in "Fern Gully," or in "Flubber," it seems every millennial has at least one movie they couldn't imagine their childhood without that Williams played a role in.
So it seems fitting, given how much coverage we typically give to commencement speeches, to look back at "Jack." the 1996 film, by Francis Ford Coppola.
Williams played Jack Powell, a boy who ages four times as fast as a normal person, making him about 40 years-old when he enters fifth grade, and gray-haired at his high school graduation. At the ceremony, Jack gives a speech that could inspire any graduating class two decades later:
"In the end none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you're ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer skies, when the stars are strung across the velvety night, and a shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day. Make a wish. Think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did."
We'll miss you, Robin Williams.