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Making the Most Out of Star Wars Make-Believe

Making the Most Out of Star Wars Make-Believe

Scott Murray's Star Wars Blog

If you grew up with Star Wars, you undoubtedly have a variety of memories. Some of them are etched in your mind forever. Other memories might come in the form of action figures that you held onto (or sought out and bought again). Then there are those of us who grew up in the 1970s & 1980s and, just like Adam Goldberg, made some memories with a video camcorder.

When my family got a video camera, they (like a lot of people) decided it would be fun to record ANYTHING – including watching all of us have dinner. As always, I went out of my way to make those videos watchable by showing off toys, putting on costumes or doing chicken walks. Even back then I had the mind of a content producer!

One of the times I dressed up for the camera came when I showed up wearing this combination:

Lone Ranger guns

1. A dark navy sweatsuit with a white stripe
2. A Lone Ranger gun holster
3. A toy .45 gun
4. A green lightsaber

How’s that for a combination?

Okay, let me explain this peculiar visual. I wore the sweatsuit because it was the closest thing I had that even remotely looked like Luke’s black outfit from Return of the Jedi. The holster was the only one I had. I had to have a green lightsaber because that was Luke’s weapon. The .45 toy gun…well,, that replaced my Han Solo blaster pistol that my parents temporarily put away because I drove them up the wall firing it all the time.

I didn’t understand that then, but as an adult I understand it now. Imagine my grumpy old man voice as I say – BACK THEN WE DIDN’T HAVE TOYS THAT MADE SOUNDS JUST LIKE THE MOVIE! Instead this Han Solo blaster sounded like a cheap, rusty Vespa engine. Think about the sound of that humming over and over again. Yeah, that was a Han Solo Blaster back then.

As I said, these days you get guns that sound a lot more like the ones you hear on-screen.

Then there’s that lightsaber.

rotj-saber-display

As a kid, I loved it. I remember picking it out of a box of lightsabers at the toy store. I knew I wanted Luke’s green saber, and I swung it around everywhere – including on camera that day, followed by my dad saying, “Watch it, Scott! You almost hit your mother!”

However, even back then I hated that I couldn’t put it on my holster belt.

I may have been just a kid, but I thought, “I wish there was a way I could fold this blade down into the hilt.” I obviously wasn’t just a Star Wars toy connoisseur, but also a Star Wars toy genius! Why? Because guess what toy lightsabers do NOW!  Oh, and some of them make actual lightsaber sounds too!

This is one of the rare occasions where I will concede that today’s kids have it better than we did. The only upside to ours was that you had to rely more on imagination, and there is value to that. Though IMAGINING my saber fit on my belt sucked. If I really tried it, the blade just dragged on the ground. Try running through Endor or Hoth with that against your leg!

I wonder what my 10-year-old self would be doing with today’s toys. Actually, I have a pretty good idea. I would have a lightsaber selection, a blaster selection and if I didn’t have a black sweatsuit, I’d probably be begging my parents to look at Anovos.  And yes, I kind of want that costume today.

I still have an appreciation for what was available and what my parents did buy for me (especially what didn’t end up on the shelf). At the end of the day, it meant I was willing to piece together a ridiculous get-up just so that I could live in the Star Wars universe.

That’s something wonderful that hasn’t changed in over 30 years of Star Wars fans and their toys.

Contact Scott at Scott@AssemblyofGeeks.com.

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3 Comments

  1. Josh Whitson
    March 24, 2015 at 08:33 Reply

    Makes me think of the time my brother went out on Halloween as Bat Vader. Had a bat costume with wings and all, but decided it would be cooler to wear a Darth Vader mask rather than the bat mask. Good times.

  2. Melinda
    April 2, 2015 at 11:59 Reply

    Memories … light the corners of my mind …

    While I already was grown up when Star Wars burst on to the scene way back when, I have had the delight of watching my own children grow up with the Saga from a galaxy far, far away. They were infused with the grand imagination of that world, and as young adults, still enjoy it immensely. 🙂 I knew their dad and I brought them up right! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your stories. 🙂

    MTFBWY 🙂

  3. Jeff M
    April 11, 2015 at 11:23 Reply

    Dangit Scott, now I want to find one of those old Lightsaber store displays! I will concede that kids have more elaborate toys today, but I STILL think the stuff we had was much more fun, and infinitely more durable, which is why we’re now paying hundreds of dollars for the same stuff we had when we were kids 🙂 I never had the lightsaber, but I had all the blasters, and any time I got my hands on a poster tube, it became a brown lightsaber 🙂

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