Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ten Years of Star Wars

May is an important month for Star Wars fans. Earlier this May we celebrated the ten-year anniversary of Attack of the Clones, and May 25 marks something even more dear to fans’ hearts: the anniversaries of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.

Attack of the Clones has the least re-watch value for me: it's the only Star Wars movie I don't own. However, it's also the first one I ever saw. I walked into that theater with my father on a sunny May day when I was thirteen. I had only learned about the movie because a classmate I had a crush on wanted to go. (The same boy introduced me to Halo.) The projected pubescent date never worked out, but I watched the trailer for AotC and was enthralled by the lightsabers and the cityscape of Coruscant, so asked my dad to take me anyway. He did.

I remember visiting an elderly aunt afterward, clutching a copy of Star Wars Insider in my hand. She told me she still watched Star Wars and other science fiction, and that gave it a sort of legitimacy for me. I had bought the Insider almost immediately after seeing the movie, mostly because there had been an acklay on the cover and I wanted to know more about the creatures. Raised on a diet of Pokemon and Digimon, seeing giant monster battles in what looked like live action was the perfect thing for my teenage imagination.

A few weeks later a friend showed me the original Star Wars films in quick succession, amazed that I had never seen them. "Just try it," she warned, "but you might get bored."

I didn't get bored.

For the rest of my secondary education, I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. I pretended the sunsets over the trees in my town were the double sunsets over the dunes of Tatooine. It gave me a sense that when I got out of that town I would find a spaceship and a hotshot pilot and be transported to something I could blow up. This explosion would, of course, be a sure sign of success and heroism.

But when I came back from college and I hadn't blown up a Death Star, A New Hope was still there. Success and heroism are fuzzy concepts but a good story is still a good story. No matter how much I know about the movies or how much I watch them there's always the sense of mysterious, amazing things going on just beyond the corner where the camera can't see. I wonder what species a certain alien is, what planet she's from, and then realize I've known that for ten years. Star Wars never fails to make me sit up and pay attention. It's the most complete science fiction universe I've ever known, and not because of the massive EU.

Star Wars also has a fantastic fan base, which has been kind and open enough to let me into their ranks as a write for Fangirlblog and a fanficcer in other places. It's my biggest aspiration to work on official Star Wars material. People like Tricia from fangirlblog and Joe Hogan (just look at that blog title!) have been very inspiring, and I wonder if maybe I'm on the way to getting my name known.  

Right now is a scary time in life, and a time of transition. I wish I had Jedi powers to tell where I would be in five years, but even Yoda can't do that: "Always in motion is the future." On the same note, I realize that this post takes place a little late. In the world of the internet it's fantastic to have things release at midnight on launch day but with my life the last few weeks it hasn't been able to happen. As I look at other fans celebrating, though, I realize that the appropriate phrase is not not “better late than never” so much as “judge me by my time, do you?” Because they don't. Star Wars fans are some of the most welcoming people I’ve ever met - and the fact is, every fandom says that. Talk to a group of train watchers and they say they’ve met their best friends through their mutual hobby. Everyone has different reasons for joining the hobby that they do, and I chose Star Wars.
This is not a picture of fans' attitudes.

Star Wars fans are the ones for me who have been there to offer emotional support, friendship, and occasionally, a couch. We're a varied group, from the elderly to the very young. We celebrate year-round: not only at conventions or anniversaries, but on any day in which we watch or read or, even better, make our own stories and art inspired by the galaxy far, far away.

So I figure this is a good time to announce that this blog is going to become a bit more Star Wars-centric in the next few weeks. I’ve had a lot on my plate with three animated shows running at the same time, and I feel like I’ve ignored the words of A New Hope and not stayed on target. In the months leading up to Celebration VI, I want to cover more Star Wars stuff than ever before, including new releases and pressing issues within the fandom. There will still be the occasional deviation into other franchises, but Star Wars is going to be the focus. It's been the focus for the last ten years, and brought me pretty far. I can't wait to see where else it takes me.

1 comment:

  1. Another awesome Nemblog... entry! It's really great to read that you are progressing, and that you have hope for the future! I believe in you, Nem. Your creative talent is something that I look up to, and I know that you can do this! :D

    Star Wars will always have a special place in my heart. I may have come to it kind of late (not my fault!) but I still love it. ♥
    I can definitely relate to AOTC being my least favourite SW film, it just... doesn't have the same appeal as the others. :/

    And reading about teenage!Nem was interesting. You sound so cute. Love this blog, love your writing. LOVE YOU!

    Live your dream, Nem. *hug*