Being a Star Wars fan is part of what makes me me. It's a comfort, it's an inspiration, it's so much more than just a few badass movies. So I think now might be a good time to explain how that all started, and how much these movies have ended up impacting my life, whether directly or indirectly. There has always been sci-fi around me to some extent. Growing up my dad read us stories out of Ray Bradbury's Illustrated Man, and every week we'd all sit down together to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. I enjoyed those things, I liked sci-fi, but it wasn't something got me particularly excited, it certainly wasn't something that defined me. It was just another pleasant part of my childhood.
|The best purchase I ever made.|
Fast forward a few years. I was 12. While I was sitting at the kitchen counter eating a bowl of cereal, I noticed the cereal box was advertising Star Wars, and I started thinking. I knew I had seen some Star Wars, but in looking at the pictures I realized I had only ever seen Jedi (and maybe the ewok movies, but I don't want to talk about that). So I thought, hey, I should probably see those, they seem culturally relevant to the times. Ok, my 12 year old self would never have said "culturally relavant" but I don't really know why I decided I had to see them, but I did. I convinced my parents to take me to Blockbuster (ahhh, warm fuzzy Blockbuster memories!) to get the tapes. They only had Empire Strikes back in stock so I got that. I loved it. A few days later they took me back and I rented the rest. I was in love.
Not long after seeing them for the first time, I put down my $42 (a lot of money for a 12 year old, it was the most I'd ever spent on anything ever) and bought my first copy of the Star Wars Trilogy (I now own 7 copies, 4 VHS, 2 DVD, 1 Bluray, I have a problem... I don't have it on Laser Disc or Beta!). I watched it over and over. I even recorded the audio of the whole trilogy on to cassettes so I could listen to it in the car (that seemed so cool to me then, but now it sounds a little mentally unstable...). I'm sure I drove everybody around me absolutely crazy. I was obsessed! I talked about Star Wars, I quoted Star Wars, I read Star Wars books, I even wrote school essays about Star Wars (I'm sorry, Mr. Lightfoot). I developed my first celebrity crush that year on Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker).
|My first website came complete with this fabulous lightsaber gif|
In college I got a job at the tech help desk, essentially because I'd spent so much time on the computer learning all these things in the name of Star Wars. After college I was able to combine that experience with my college degree in Asian studies into a career as an academic technologist, where I get to help students make websites, edit audio recordings, and produce videos for class.
Star Wars also helped me realize that I enjoyed science fiction in general. I started reading more sci-fi and fantasy books, I watched other sci-fi shows and movies, and saw my sci-fi obsessions grow to include many other things (but Star Wars always remained number 1). I even met my husband in the sci-fi house in college (yes, there was a sci-fi house. Carleton rules, get over it), we had our first kiss while watching Star Trek, and the first time I got super drunk I told him that I'd never love him as much as I loved hockey and Star Wars. But I did (and do) love him a whole hell of a lot, and now we're married with two wonderful kids (both named after sci-fi characters, of course).
I don't think I ever would have ended up on this amazing family and awesome career trajectory if it hadn't been for Star Wars. That may sound a little ridiculous but, hey, I am a little ridiculous. May the Force be with you.