There hasn’t been quite as much Star Wars news the last few days, so I haven’t thought of much to post recently. I don’t always plan on just posting news, but will also be writing about some of my own experiences, reviews, and thoughts here. Today I decided to kind of share my own Star Wars story, so let’s see where that goes.
I don’t remember exactly when I started getting into Star Wars. Oddly enough, my very first memory about it was when I was a kid and in a Muppets magazine that I had that I think might have actually been my brother’s. I really liked the Muppets as a kid, and I watched the old Muppet Show and had magazines and comic books about them. I remember one strip that was the Muppets doing Star Wars, with Miss Piggy dressed as Princess Leia. And then I also remember them doing skits on the Muppet Show. I didn’t know much about the actual Star Wars yet. Strange way to start, right? But, well, that’s what I first remember.
Fast forward to when I was a teenager. The Special Edition of the original trilogy came out in theaters for the 20th anniversary. I think this may be about the time I first started watching the movies and getting into them. Seeing them get a re-release, I decided I should probably make sure I had seen all of them, so I did. And that created a monster. I loved them. I had VHS copies of the original trilogy, and just loved the story. Not sure exactly what it was, honestly. Why does anyone love Star Wars? The characters, the story, the music… I just never got tired of watching any of them.
Not too long after the 20th anniversary releases came the prequels. There were new Star Wars movies being made and more of the story was going to be told, and I was excited. I know there are people that pretty much hate the prequels, but not me. I know there’s bad dialogue, and Jar Jar is annoying. But the coolest part to me was seeing more of the story. I loved seeing Anakin and Obi-Wan’s background story. When the films came out each year, I was almost always at one of the first showings. One time I even remember standing in line outside a theater to buy pre-sale tickets and loving it. It was fun waiting with others that were just as excited as I was.
Over The Years
We haven’t seen a lot of new stuff released between the prequels and the new sequels that are coming out now, but I definitely didn’t lose interest. We did gain The Clone Wars, and while I went to see the movie in theaters and liked it, I didn’t get into the show right away. I’m actually just working my way through it now. But I still love hearing the story. The more I learn about the characters, I honestly just can’t get enough. This universe has sucked me in for sure.
There are a couple of things that I remember while reminiscing about my obsession. One is that there was a point where Burger King released a bunch of Star Wars toys that they gave out with their meals. They weren’t just kids’ meals, but I don’t remember exactly what you had to buy to get them. They had one for every major (and even some minor) characters in all six movies that were out at the time. And I had to have them ALL. I stopped at Burger King for breakfast a lot of times on my way into work just to get one of the toys I didn’t have. Some were hard to obtain, but I ordered them on eBay. I managed to get all of them, and I still have them all! Some of them even grace my “Star Wars wall” today in my office at home.
I also remember being at a friend’s house once and one of the prequels was playing on TV. It sucked me in. I sat down in the middle of it and watched some of it – I couldn’t help myself. That’s just how much I love all of the movies. They are my happy place.
Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Celebration was held in Indianapolis a couple of times while I lived there. I know for sure that I went once because I remember buying tickets for a friend, and we went together. Going back through old emails, I discovered that I actually went both times, I think, because I met up with another friend there in a different year. But the Celebrations I remember the most are from 2015 and 2017.
In 2015, I was living in Arizona and somehow stumbled across information about Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. There was a press pass application on their site, so I decided to apply for one and blog about it if I got the pass. Well, sure enough, I did. Anaheim wasn’t too far, and it sounded like fun. Obviously I had only been to Celebration briefly the couple times it was in Indy, so this could be a great experience. I found out there was the opportunity to get autographs and photo ops with some of the stars. This gave me the idea to take the small poster that was the centerpiece of my shrine to Star Wars that I’d created in my home office and get it signed by all the major original trilogy stars I could. That proved to be pretty expensive, so I settled for just two favorites that year – Carrie Fisher and Peter Mayhew.
I also found out that a good friend of mine and her son were going to be there for a day too, so I splurged and bought a photo op with Mark and Carrie (aka Skywalker Twins) for all of us as a surprise to her. She’d had a pretty rough year, so I wanted to do it for her (plus awesome photo with Mark and Carrie, duh!).
That convention turned out to be a pretty amazing experience and has guaranteed that I will at least try to make it to every Star Wars Celebration in the future. I’m especially glad I got the autograph and photo op with Carrie while I could. The day of her passing was the day our furniture arrived in Florida after our move there, and I will never forget finding out that she died. It was a very conflicting day.
Celebration in 2017 ended up being even easier to attend once I moved from Arizona to Florida. After both Carrie and Kenny Baker’s passings, I decided to get my butt in gear as far as getting autographs to complete my poster. I bought autographs for not only Mark and Anthony Daniels, but also added Billy Dee Williams and Ian McDiarmid to the poster as well. And I got to be in the same room with Harrison! Oh yeah, that’s a whole other story…
I had no intention to wait overnight for the opening panel. But when a friend of mine said he was going to do it, I decided what the heck. So I did, and I in no way regret it! It was an amazing experience. It was the 40th anniversary panel, and it was epic! George Lucas was a part of it, as well as Harrison Ford. Apparently it was the first Celebration he’s ever been to. I loved the tribute to Carrie. One moment from that panel that I will also always remember is being in the room, listening to John Williams conduct the Imperial March and looking over and seeing Hayden Christensen off to the side listening to it too. Talk about goosebumps.
When they announced Hayden’s attendance at the convention, I couldn’t resist snagging a couple of photo ops. Hayden, BTW, is a super nice guy. You know, for Darth Vader. My photo op on my About page with him and Ian is seriously one of my favorite photos of all time. I just love it.
So here we are now. In the thick of it all. We are two movies in to the sequel trilogy. This year sees the release of a movie about Han Solo’s back story. And new Star Wars news comes out practically every day. There’s never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan. I’m all in for it. So that’s why I decided to create this page. I needed an outlet, something creative, and what better than a place to talk about what I love?