I like Star Wars, a lot.
Usually, the first thing people learn about me is that I really like Star Wars. However, I didn’t grow up loving Star Wars. *gasp* This is the story of how I became a Star Wars fan…
By the time I was born, the (original) Star Wars trilogy had already been completed. I grew up with a vague realization of what it was, mostly because I had an older cousin who was really into the saga. I didn’t pay much attention to it, but I knew that it meant something to him. My first memory of watching a Star Wars film is pretty fuzzy, but I remember watching parts of The Empire Strikes Back on TV with my dad. Specifically, I remember watching Luke’s training sequence on Dagobah, including the part where he fought and defeated Darth Vader. I was very confused when Darth Vader’s mask revealed Luke’s face underneath it. I think I stopped watching after that.
I didn’t think about Star Wars very often after that until one day in class a couple boys started talking about this hot girl that played two roles in the new Star Wars film. I hadn’t been aware that there was a new Star Wars film, but I saw a photo of Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala and was intrigued.
A couple years later I was at a store and this magazine cover caught my attention:
I picked up the magazine and looked though it. I was hooked. I purchased the magazine and took it home to study it (I still have it.).
There was something about Star Wars that just drew me in. Initially it was the beautiful people on the cover of that magazine. Then I found out that there was going to be a romance in the upcoming film, and as a young girl I loved the idea of romance. I soon learned that one of the main actors was Canadian, and that further intrigued me as my mom is French Canadian, and I’ve always had a fondness for Canada (my first AOL screenname was CanadianAmidala.).
It wasn’t long before I took to the internet to find out more about the upcoming film. I spent the entire summer learning everything I could though the databanks on StarWars.com. I found TheForce.net to be too intimidating, so I was ecstatic when I discovered Anakin and His Angel.
AAHA immediately became my favorite source for Star Wars news, and community. It was (and still is) run by a girl around my age who was passionate about the saga (Hi, Jen!). I was amazed to find another girl who was into Star Wars, and thanks to the internet I discovered there were many other girls who loved and appreciated the galaxy far, far away.
By the time Attack of the Clones was released in theaters I was completely obsessed with everything and anything Star Wars. It became part of my identity, and has played a part in all my major life events since then.
In 2007, I found out that the upcoming Star Wars Celebration was going to take place in LA (only an hour away from where I lived!), and I bought my pass immediately. I met a girl at church a couple months before Celebration and our first conversation revolved around Disneyland and Star Wars. We talked about the upcoming Celebration and agreed to drive there together each day. That turned out to be an awesome decision since she’s been my best friend ever since (Hi, Cassie!).
A couple years after that I met my husband. He flirted with me by texting me random Star Wars quotes. I married him so fast! Naturally, our engagement photos included lightsabers. At our wedding I walked down the aisle to Across the Stars (the love theme from Attack of the Clones), and The Throne Room and End Title from A New Hope played as we were announced as husband and wife. I don’t think anyone was surprised by our music selection, except maybe our grandparents…
We honeymooned at Walt Disney World and spent plenty of time in and around Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Years later, when I was pregnant with my son, my best friend sent me the perfect maternity shirt. When I wore the shirt to Starbucks the barista declared that my shirt was awesome and gave me a high-five. I got so many compliments on that shirt. Of course I had a Star Wars themed baby shower, complete with Princess Leia cupcakes and lightsaber pretzel sticks.
Ben wouldn’t let me name the baby Anakin (Okay, so maybe I’m joking a little bit here. Maybe.), but he was all for a Star Wars themed nursery, and first photoshoot.
Our poor kid had no choice but to be a Star Wars fan. Thankfully, he loves anything and everything Star Wars (he was even featured in a Star Wars contest called The Chewie Challenge.).
I have so much more that I could share about how deeply I love the Star Wars universe, and, the impact that it has made in my life, but I think you get the point.
I wasn’t quite sure how to end this post… I always love asking others to share their stories with me, and I am always interested in hearing about how fans fell in love with their fandoms (so please share those stories with me!). I decided to ask my husband for feedback on how he would end this post. Here is what he came up with:
We, Star Wars fans, all have a special origin story. We have a story of our journey in this saga and how it has penetrated and bound our lives. Perhaps what is most striking is this: Maybe, Lucas didn’t imagine the Force, at all. Maybe all of this is far more real than we realize.
Just, maybe… the Force is the fandom that unites us.