I am a Luke Skywalker junkie.
There. I said it. I admit it. I just can’t get enough of anything “Luke Skywalker”. Action figures. Posters. Magnets. Bobbleheads. Puzzles. Lego pens. Mimobots. If something features Luke — and I can afford it — I will do my darnedest to add it to my collection. Not that I consider myself all that much of a collector. I don’t. Like most of us, I do have constraints on my wallet (I’m not complaining; it’s just a fact of life), and our house is only so big. So, I choose wisely what I want to bring home. As silly as this sounds, the goofier looking an item is, the more I have a tendency to like it. If something — even pertaining to Luke Skywalker — can make me chuckle just by looking at it, all the better!
But that isn’t always the case. I have a serious side, too.
Years ago, when Master Replicas started coming out with its reproductions of lightsaber hilts, one, in particular, caught my eye. It was, of course, Luke’s. Well, his first — the one he had before his menacing dad sliced off his hand at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back”. The MR replica came out in two “versions” — one that included an autographed plate featuring Mark Hamill’s signature, and the other that did not include his scrawl. I put the lightsaber hilt on my secret “wish list” … knowing I’d probably never reveal to anyone that I wanted it. I had no illusions about ever adding the sans autograph replica — let alone the one with Mark Hamill’s signature — to my collection. That was okay. I had other priorities.
I share this with you to set up what came next …
One day, my husband or I (funny how I can’t remember which one of us it was ) stopped at the local grocery store to do a bit of shopping, and on a lark, picked up a couple of scratch-off lottery tickets. (We’ll do this once or twice a year — just for fun. As a general rule, the most money anyone in the family ever has won at one time was about $5. Usually, however, they amount to no more than $1 or $2 at a time. Mostly, the cards are a bust, and wind up in the trash.) At random, we each chose a card, grabbed a coin, and started scratching off the silvery topping. Tom’s was not a winning ticket, and just as I was about to say that mine, too, was likewise, I took a second … and a third … and a fourth look at what emerged from beneath the silvery shnibbles (like that word? ) I had just brushed away. “I’m not sure,” I said with disbelief in my voice (so much like Luke’s when he witnesses Yoda lifting the x-wing from the Dagobah swamp ), “but I think I won. And big.” I needed verification — since I could not believe my eyes – so I handed my lottery ticket to Tom. He examined my card, and raising his eyes, he said with a big grin on his face: “You won, Melinda. You won $750!” I was floored! I do not win at games of chance. To this day, I’m amazed that this happened to me.
I followed the directions to redeem the winning scratch-off ticket, and when the check came in the mail, I deposited it. Tom asked me what I was going to do with my winnings, and I was ready to do the practical thing. “What would you really like to do with your winnings?” Tom asked. When I told him I’d really like to use some of it to buy something special for him and each of the girls, he asked, “Well, what about you? Isn’t there something you’d really like that you otherwise wouldn’t buy for yourself?” “Well,” I admitted, “if I could buy something for me, I would get one of the new lightsaber hilts, but even the one without Mark Hamill’s autograph is very expensive.” When I informed Tom of the price of both, he indicated I should go for the Signature Series replica. He added, ”You’ll still have enough left over to buy something for the girls and me, if that’s what you’d still like to do.” It was. (Yes, I know I have a pretty outstanding husband. It isn’t that he let me purchase the MR lightsaber hilt. It was that he encouraged me to do so knowing it was something I would not normally buy for myself — no matter how much of a Luke Skywalker junkie I am … which he knew, by the way, when he married me. )
This really has a lot to do with why this specific item is my most cherished collectible among my Star Wars belongings. The story behind its addition is indicative of the man I married — who happens to be a huge Star Wars fan himself. Isn’t that what often happens … where our most dear possessions are concerned? It oftentimes has nothing to do with the item itself. The item does not have to be expensive to be held dear. Rather, its importance is steeped in the story behind it.
Because the holiday season is upon us (oh, it came quickly!), I’d like to do something for you. In the spirit of giving, I would like to hold a raffle where one lucky reader will win a Star Wars surprise. (It’s a surprise, so I am not going to reveal what it is. )To be included in the raffle, all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this blog saying you’d like your name to be “thrown into the hat“. Of course, make sure you tell me what your name is! I will collect names through Sunday, December 15. On Monday, December 16, I’ll reveal the winner here at coffeewithkenobi.com. Please check back at that time to find out if you’re the lucky winner of the Star Wars Surprise Package, and to learn the details of what to do next. There is, of course, no cost to you for participating. This is my holiday gift to one lucky fellow fan. Good luck! Or, I should say, may the force be with you.