I was raised by a nerd, with a nerdy brother, in a home where being into geeky stuff was acceptable and embraced, before it became more normalized like it seems today. At least, that’s how it seemed to me.
And that is the home my nieces have, today: a home where being passionate about things you love is acceptable and encouraged.
One of the biggest fandoms our entire house is mutually passionate about is Star Wars.
My mom was the first, seeing A New Hope two years before my brother was born, and becoming a fan of the series. Then she and my brother both loved Star Wars long before I came to be in 1990.
I don’t recall a time in my life I wasn’t absolutely in love with the original trilogy. A New Hope is still my go to Star Wars film. I had an ewok plushie I carried around, and still remember my first figure: a sandtrooper. I loved the stormtroopers as a child because my brother loved Vader, and I wanted to be cool like him. But my favorite character was always Han Solo (more on this in a future post.)
Everyone bashes the prequels, but they hold such a special place in my heart and I’ll always love them. Little Angel wanted to be as cool as Qui-Gon Jinn, dress as incredibly as Princess Amidala, as badass with a lightsaber as Darth Maul. I remember my 9th birthday was Star Wars themed, from cake to decor, and I even wore a Darth Maul shirt.
Then in 2002, when my best friend Eric and I were 11, my mom, brother, and I loaded Eric’s wheelchair into my brother’s truck, and my family took Eric and his brother John to see Attack of the Clones. Eric had muscular dystrophy and didn’t live to see his 15th birthday, and rarely got to see movies until they were released on VHS/DVD. But we loved Star Wars, and I wanted to share the experience of one on the big screen with him. I’ll always be glad we had that.
But my mom, brother, and I were the original trilogy, I suppose you could say. Because long after we all had an established love for Star Wars, two little girls came along, and fell in love with it, too.
Lillie and Dica both enjoyed Star Wars before Episode VII was released. Dica is a die hard Star Wars fan, and Lillie seems to have taken after me with a love for stormtroopers. In 2015, on their first trip to Disney World, they were selected to open the Star Wars Weekend parade at Hollywood Studios (you can read more about that here), and learned Jedi moves, donned some robes, and led the celebrities out in the parade. My brother and I even got to walk in the parade, well behind the girls, since they needed adults to accompany children and we were both already decked out in Star Wars gear.
But there was something so incredibly special to me about taking them to The Force Awakens and being there for their first experience in a theater with a new Star Wars film. Of course, they fell in love with the new characters, and it became a treasured event for all of us when a new movie released.
And now, we’re here. The end of 2019. Watching The Mandalorian as a family, bracing ourselves for Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker to hit us in the feels, and planning what we want to do when we finally get to Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World.
I’ve been rewatching the movies, as I usually try to do every year, as has my family, and it’s brought back so many nostalgic memories attached to Star Wars in some way. Some things are more than just things we enjoy on a fan level. I think that’s why my family has never had issues with any of the movies. We just love Star Wars, and how it brings us closer together.
Let me know what Star Wars movie is your favorite in the comments.
And remember – no spoiling the movie!