Today is known as Star Wars day because of the play on the words May the Force be with you becoming May the Fourth be with you and like the Star Wars fan/nerd that I am, this day is pretty big and awesome to me. I think I’ve been a Star Wars fan longer than I’ve been alive and it has played a huge role in my life.
I remember the first time I saw Star Wars was when I was about 5 or so and it was Christmas Eve and I had just woken up in my uncle’s room at my grandparents house. I was recovering from an ear infection (I had a lot of those as a child) and I remember making my way out to the living room and there on the screen was R2D2 on Tatooine before being captured by the Jawas and from that moment on I was sucked into the Star Wars universe. I remember being one of the only girls in my elementary school to watch to watch Star Wars when I was in 1st grade and we were doing a whole school (which was about 75 max) movie watching event. I remember when I fell into the expanded universe novels when I was 9 years old and I remember when two of the boys in my 6th grade class joined me in looking at the newspaper ads for the Phantom Menace. A group of my girlfriends and I ditched school the Friday Star Wars Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith came out even though it meant we might be banned from prom. I remember crying when Chewie was crushed by a moon and throwing the book that killed Anakin Solo across my room and bawling my eyes out. I grew up looking up to Princess Leia and Jaina Solo and Mara Jade because they were some of the most fierce badass women I’ve ever read about.
I remember going ‘fuck this’ after finishing the New Jedi Order series because I couldn’t take anymore heart ache and pain. Meanwhile I still enjoyed on Star Tours as Disneyland and watching the movies and introducing friends and family to the joy of Star Wars. In the last few years with Disney gaining the rights to Star Wars and discussion of new movies coming out, I’ll admit that I’ve kept myself on the fence because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be excited or not. Which of course is when information on episode 7 started to come out and news that Han, Leia and Luke were coming back. Of course they also announced everything prior to 2014 was no longer cannon and honestly that felt like a giant fuck you to people like me that had spend years following the expanded universe in books and games and shows. Of course they started to release new books and I sat on the fence but of course being the sucker and push over that I am, I got hooked again. My cousin was able to get into a Star Wars event that was happening 2 weeks before Episode 7 was due to be released and I got to meet John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley for an oh so brief moment but the hype was building in me. The Force Awakens both got my excited to see what happens next and tore my heart out in ways I wasn’t expecting and I had no idea what to expect next. Of course this is when they announce the next movie wasn’t Episode 8 but rather a prequel to A New Hope.
Rogue One was so freaking good, I mean of course it had its issues but I went in knowing exactly how it was gonna end and it was amazing and I loved it. I saw it 3 times in theaters and while I type this post I’m watching it again. It answered a lot questions about things like how Princess Leia got the stolen plans for the Death Star and gave another face to the rebellion we hadn’t seen before. It also is the movie that starts to build hope in me, especially in this political climate.
I also can’t talk about Star Wars without mentioning my princess and my general, Carrie Fisher. You can’t talk about Star Wars without talking about the amazing person that was Carrie Fisher. I was in shock when I heard about her death and even now I still get teary eyes because Princess Leia really was the first badass woman I remember looking up to, I wanted to be her when I grew up. And the more I learned about Carrie Fisher as a person and not just the woman that personified Princess Leia, the more I admired, respected and looked up to her. She will always be missed and I think it will be quite a few years before I can watch a Star Wars movie without tearing up just a little bit.
The last reason that Star Wars day means a lot to me is because its also my dad’s birthday and there isn’t a man that I don’t love, respect or admire more than my dad. My dad is the one who introduced me to science fiction and would sit there and watch the movies with me when I was a child. I like to find him Star Wars birthday cards and I like to think he finds them to be just a little bit humorous. I know its silly but part of me also likes to think that everyone is also celebrating my dad because why shouldn’t they? My dad is fucking awesome and deserves to be celebrated.
Side note: drinking wine and watching the end of Rogue One makes me really emotional and teary eyed.
But yea, Star Wars. Its a lot of science fiction and a lot of fantasy and its wonderful and amazing and it has changed people’s lives. It gives hope to people that don’t have any, it inspires people and on May 25th it will 40 years since Star Wars: A New Hope was released in theaters. And in the words of Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso “Rebellions are built on hope.” and I think we could all use a little hope right now.
“May the Force Be With You”