It’s the day after Thanksgiving, so I’m still in “give thanks” mode. And that’s what I’m gonna do RIGHT NOW!!
I did the daily Thankfulness post on Facebook this year for the first time (at least I think it’s the first time, the mind plays tricks at my age). One day it was about Star Wars, and how it’s brought so much to my life, so I wanted to take a moment to focus on that with you, my favorite reader.
The Star Wars films are great, nobody will dispute that here. However, the impact those films have had on my life is miniscule compared to the impact the galaxy of related media and product has made, along with the fandom itself.
The bonding that Star Wars brought to my late mother and me has been well-documented, so I won’t rehash it here. What I will share is how it has given my brother and I something to share as well. He’s ten years older than I am, so we have never had much in common from a life perspective. However, he introduced me to Star Wars when he took me to see The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Again, that story has been told, but since then, we’ve always had an affection for the saga and the tie-in merchandise. We used to go to sci-fi cons together and would always be impressed with the hauls that we made from the dealer tables. We would go on toy runs together to look for Star Wars toys in our hometown of Paris, Texas, and we would both call the other when we found something new to see if the other had it already. It’s a time in my life that I always look back on with fondness. Star Wars: Bringing families together since 1977.
Along with my family, Star Wars has cemented many of my friendships as well. Oddly enough, they’ve all come in adulthood. When I was a kid, I was the “Star Wars guy” and my other friends were just casually into it. They humored my obsession, but never shared it. Now, I have several podcasts that are co-hosted by good friends that are based on a shared love of Star Wars, and a horde of online acquaintances that came into my life because of Star Wars. All of these friendships have grown beyond the surface appreciation of George Lucas’s creation, but that’s where they began, and it’s just another example of how much Star Wars has given me.
Along with my interpersonal relationships, Star Wars has also proved to be a gateway to my creative pursuits. As a result of seeing The Empire Strikes Back as a 3-year-old, I became enamored with film of all sorts, which in turn prompted my desire to be an actor. That’s been the single biggest drive of my life, to entertain others. Star Wars taught me that you can mix comedy with drama and action into an entertaining mixture that can also present some thoughtful ideas. In some ways, it spoiled “normal” cinema for me, since so few titles ever attain the lofty heights of the saga. In many ways, it has shaped my aesthetic sensibility in a positive way that might never have happened otherwise.
Where would I be without Star Wars? I honestly do not know. A friend posted a photo on Facebook recently that said “I wouldn’t be the person I am today if not for Star Wars,” and it’s absolutely true. There’s no guarantee I wouldn’t have bonded with my brother over something else, or made friends who shared a different interest, but I can’t imagine what that would be. I’m also sure I would have discovered my love of performing and developed my dramatic and comedic sense by way of another property, but again, what that might have been I can’t even begin to ponder. The bottom line is this: Star Wars has made my life immeasurably better. That may seem silly to some, but those who matter understand what I mean, and that’s all I really care about.
What about you? How has Star Wars changed your life for the better? I’d love to read about it in the comments.
Until next time,
May The Force of Others Be With Us All
Jeff can be heard weekly on Assembly of Geeks (www.assemblyofgeeks.com) and on his own podcast network, MarvinDog Media (www.MarvinDogMedia.com) where he hostsThe Pilot Episode, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff, and Bantha Banter: A Star Wars Chat Show. He is also co-host of Comics With Kenobi with fellow CWK blogger Matt Moore, on CoffeeWithKenobi.com, which you have already found if you’re reading this blog. You can contact Jeff at email@example.com.