I have many varied interests and room in my heart for many fandoms. I love them all for different reasons, but I don’t think I could possible love any of them more than I love Star Wars.
Star Wars is linked to my past in a way that is deeply personal and ingrained into my very being. Let me explain.
Being the youngest in my family I was always cognizant of Star Wars. I knew who the characters were and that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. My siblings and cousins were always talking about and playing “Star Wars”. But since I was born after the original movies were released and our family never owned the vhs tapes I had never seen it.
Somewhere around 1996 I heard that the movies were being re-released in 1997. My friend Kandra’s older sister, Sanya, had the VHS tapes and was watching the originals to compare them to the special editions that were coming out soon. I happened to walk in on the Empire Strikes Back scene here Han is using the lightsaber to cut open the Taun Taun to keep Luke warm. Immediately I was awed and disgusted but thrilled at the prospect of seeing these movies in their entirety.
I made a conscious decision to not watch the rest of the movie at this point and to experience each of the original trilogy movies on the big screen when they were released in 1997. So that’s what I did. Me, Kandra and Sanya went to each of them as they were released and the Star Wars obsession inside me grew and grew.
By this point I couldn’t get enough. The only problem was I still didn’t have the VHS tapes to watch them repeatedly. Thankfully I was able to borrow the tapes and I would literally watch the movies over and over again.
To me it was more than just watching some movies that were already 15-20 years old. It was a dark time for my family. My parents were recently divorced and I was basically left fatherless. Being a pre-teen can be a sad, lonely and confusing time for anyone, but it was especially for me with these unique circumstances. But Star Wars gave me an outlet. A world where I could escape and forget about my problems. Star Wars also came to me at an integral time in my life when I was starting to develop my own views and opinions. The themes of good vs. evil, love and redemption really resonated with me and helped to form many of my personal views that I have to this day.
After discovering the awesomeness that is Star Wars imagine my surprise and delight when I learned of the prequel trilogy soon to come! As it got closer to 1999 my love for Star Wars grew stronger still. The new characters, places, and ships etc were intoxicating. And it even fueled my creativity…I would spend hours designing dresses for Amidala, drawing little Ani and even creating new characters such as Darth Tenacious – Darth Maul’s sister who wanted revenge.
The next 6 years or so were filled with many happy days of midnight showings, fan speculation and collecting. In 2005 when Revenge of the Sith came out I remember crying at the end in part to the emotional impact of the film, but mostly because I thought this would be the last new Star Wars movie I’d ever see in the theater. I’ve never been happier to be wrong.
When I learned of the Disney acquisition in 2012 my heart swelled. The future of Star Wars was bright once again. As I eagerly anticipate the release of The Force Awakens, as well as the plethora of other movies we have in store, I can’t help but feel like a kid again. Waiting for that universe to envelope me, to amaze me and to transport me to that galaxy far, far away.