Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You...Always.

The comic book that fueled my love of all things Star Wars
          Today is Star Wars day and it’s made look back several times over my thirty-three years or so of loving all things Star Wars.  I was too young to remember A New Hope, I was just four years old after all.  The Empire Strikes Back, though, now that movie I remember.  I know my Aunt took me to the movie but I don’t remember a whole lot of the movie itself.  She says I went to the bathroom a lot but I honestly don’t remember it much.  I have a vague recollection of Hoth but that’s about it from that experience.  What got me hooked, and I mean really hooked was a copy of the second edition of Marvel’s comic book adaptation of the same movie.  It was slightly larger than a normal comic and the colors were very stark but that book is what opened up my mind and my world to all that was Star Wars.  I had some toys before that too, the Death Star play set figures prominently in my memories as does the Falcon playset but that comic was my ‘gateway to geekdom’. (Geekgate?  Gateway Geek?)

                I’m not exactly sure what about the series that hooked me so completely and continues to hook me even now as an adult.  Maybe because it had it all; swords, action, flying ships, guns, and rogues just to name a few things!? My seven year old brain sucked it all up and from then on my world was set.  It was my Errol Flynn, my Three Musketeers, Zorro, and Lone Ranger all wrapped
Oh Yeah!! The Death Star!!
into three movies.  It scared me (that Wompa was not a nice creature) and in the beginning I wasn’t even too sure of Darth Vader.  My view on what a hero should be as an adult is modeled entirely on Han Solo, a bad guy just isn’t really a bad guy unless they can top Vader and Palpatine.  I suppose I was the perfect age for it but whatever it was I was in!! 

                As I’ve aged I’ve always been fearful the movies would age or wouldn’t hold up to my adult scrutiny but they haven’t.  They’ve grown more fun to watch especially as I share them with my sons (my daughters too but they won’t admit it publicly that they like the movies but I know they do...they do I tell you!!).  The prequels had their issues sure and didn’t even come close to matching the majesty of the original three (especially episode V) but they were Star Wars through and through.  They had swords, guns, romance, ships, and awesome bad guys just like the originals.  They stoked the Star Wars flames of my soul.  They made me feel like a kid again and stoked the imagination.  They took me back to hours spent playing with the toys or just imagining I was the one fighting Darth Vader instead of Luke.  They took me back to time spent pouring over fan-fiction before fan-fiction was even a thing.  I spent hours making up distant relatives of Solo and writing about those adventures. 

Fan-Made Episode VII poster
                As we slowly march our way through 2014 and into 2015 there is the promise of more Star Wars goodness.  I’ve seen the original cast is returning and that’s simply awesome.  The fans out there in the internet may not like it and throw down all of their negative fan hate that could only exist in the anonymous world of the internet but I’m pretty sure when those opening credits pop on the screen and the words begin their long scroll up the screen that I’ll be in my seat grinning like a loon, my inner seven year old squealing in absolute joy.  Whatever intangible thing it was that hooked me on this universe all those years ago, I am very grateful it was there.  Star Wars has made me a happy child, a happy boy, and a happy adult repeatedly over the years and I can’t imagine a world without being able to sit down and watch one of the movies, or quote a line at my wife, or have my mom throw out a line from Yoda or discuss the finer points with my wife and best friend. (or...shhh...beating my wife at Star Wars trivial pursuit!!! muhahahah)  Thank you George Lucas for being as influential on my life as much and probably more than any teacher ever was.  Long Live Star Wars, and May the Fourth Be With You!!

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