I was introduced to Star Wars during the worst part of my life. I saw it on VHS in my parents' living room. No big theater/OMG spaceships experience here. It was no kidding the worst part of my life. Seventh grade. Junior high is fun for like, what...two people? I had no friends, was indescribably lonely--did not know how much at the time. Glasses half an inch thick, braces, headgear, and hair no stylist would touch without a sad smile and saying..."there's no excuse for this." I remember being constantly in trouble for something--not for sneaking out or setting things on fire or anything fun. I was in trouble for being me. For my grades, which were terrible due to the fact I dreaded going to school. For not having any friends. For a list of things wrong with me. I only remember my parents glaring at me disapprovingly at this point. There must have been something else, but the only positive memory I have of that time was finally seeing Star Wars. All of that stuff had to be the reason it hit me so hard.
A lot of people share that they got a big rush when they saw it the first time. Left the theater in a joyful daze, etc. Here is one thing where I was not freakishly different except for the fact it was long after the last movie left the theater and no one cared about it anymore. I did my best to find books--used book stores, one tenth anniversary collection left behind on the shelf at the mall. I did not have the Internet or any way to find anything else. And no one wanted to talk about it. I learned that I could add to my list of faults the one thing I liked about me, "annoying Star Wars fangirl." I annoyed the few people who were stuck with me. I didn't even want to be around me at this point. :) That was reality, though, and I didn't know any better.
What Star Wars did was let me escape the rest of the horridness for a while. If I put in the tape, I forgot I was completely alone, failing the advanced Math class my parents were once so proud I got into, and followed on my walk home from school by kids throwing rocks at my back. There was even worse stuff I could let go of for a while. Star Wars introduced me to fantasy and science fiction--the other options to teenage romance novels which seemed so unreal because boys didn't talk to me. For a long time it was my only escape. It took years and years for things to get better for me, but this one little thing let me find new interests. When it was okay to talk about things like Star Wars and fantasy, I was able to find real friends. I'm not sad I liked Star Wars, even if it sounds a little pathetic how much I liked it.
It was pathetic, but it was the entirety of what I had. Loneliness is a bad thing.
It was cool, when Star Wars came back again, to finally be able to talk about it with other people--to finally get to know other people. ;) It turned out I wasn't the only person on Earth that likes this stuff. And there was more stuff! Really, this is epic for someone who used to search through the fifty billion romance novels in a used book store to find one beat up copy of a Star Wars movie novelization. While I was completely okay with the prequels, they didn't have the same impact. I missed Han Solo's character--the snarky one that offsets how serious everyone else is about Jedi and trade disputes and clones. The prequels needed someone like that. I thought Padme was far too smart to be this dumb about guys. I wished Qui-Gon and Darth Maul were around longer. I thought Anakin needed a nap to clear his head.
Meh. So what if there were a few problems. There was more. I got to see Jedi fight with lightsabers and OMG were they good at it back in the Old Republic days! Which brings me to the Disney-buys-Lucasfilm announcement last week. My only complaint about the way George Lucas does things is he doesn't make enough movies. I'm not going to criticize him for telling the story he wants. I'm writing a novel in November. I'm making storytelling choices, too. Art is hard, right? I don't always agree with his story, but his stuff is pretty amazing--when he makes stuff instead of sitting around re-editing. I'd like him to stop re-releasing the old movies and make a new movie. And another one after that. That's why I'm so excited about the deal with Disney--because Disney immediately promised to make more Star Wars movies. They might be good, they might be terrible, but there will be more midnight release parties, more chances to carry a lightsaber in public, more Lego Star Wars to collect, and more little kids to introduce to something pretty much everyone agrees is damned fun.
So. My introduction to Star Wars sounds pretty sad. I can't say I've got some great story about it except that from it I figured out I liked other things. Star Trek. HackMaster. Doctor Who. The Avengers. I found out I fit into something after all. It saved my life a little bit. I'm happy to see it go on.