I still remember the first time my dad took me to see the re-releases of Star Wars in theaters. It was 1997 and I my excitement was Palpatine (correction: palpable). My deceased grandfather fondly recalled the song from Chalmun’s Cantina on Mos Eisley. Although I never met him, listening to the Cantina song was a way to pay homage to him. Even my dad, when he first immigrated to America in the seventies, remembered the excitement the movies held for him. Seeing these epics was a way to connect to my family.Retro Travel Poster of Tatooine // Star Wars Pillow Case – Robot Pattern // Empire Strikes Back Movie Poster, Minimalist // Star Wars x Super7 Collection: The Imperial Forces Wallpaper
The Sci-Fi film was so exciting. I wanted to be a Jedi more than I wanted to be a famous actress, a fireman, and all those other occupations that every fifth grader wants to be. I remember trying to tuck myself in with my mind; if only I stare at the blanket a second longer, it will work! Jedi mind tricks take concentration! Or, if it were really cold, I would pretend to be inside a Tauntaun. For the holidays, all I wanted was the VHS Special Edition Trilogy Box Set. I took to calling anyone named Ben “Old Ben Kanobi” and cousins named Leah became “Leia”.
No longer does geek-chic need to be schlocky, or campy, or kitsch!
Really, I was a weird kid, and Star Wars told me it was OK to release my wild imagination. It was my gateway film into all science fiction and fantasy – Ender’s Game, His Dark Materials, Lord of the Rings, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Martian Chronicles, A Wrinkle in Time, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dune, etc. Star Wars kicked off my nerdom, and the universe still holds a place and my heart, and for the first time ever, my home.