As someone born in 1991, it’s safe to say that I missed the initial hype for Star Wars and have no knowledge of the world before this phenomenon. When I was about 5 or 6 my uncle was back visiting for the weekend and arranged to take me to the cinema to see a film he thought I might enjoy: a small independent film called A New Hope. Unfortunately his timekeeping was more than a little off, so by the time we got to our seats Luke Skywalker was about to make his grand entrance… so as you can see we missed quite a chunk of the film!
Even with us missing the opening, I must have enjoyed what we saw as before my uncle left he let me borrow his box set of the Original Trilogy (the only trilogy at that point) – a wonderful set of VHS tapes in a tin case. I lost count of how many times I must have watched the films and eventually my mum bought me the Special Edition on VHS so that I could return my uncle’s copy. I was just the right age to enjoy the Prequel Trilogy as it came out and my love for Star Wars just continued to grow! I had so many of the Micro Machines Star Wars toys – the character heads that opened out into sets from the movies – and a trip to Toys”R”Us wasn’t complete without picking up at least one pack of extra characters and vehicles to use with these sets.
Once the Prequel Trilogy was completed, there came a horrid period where my access to Star Wars was severely limited. I was too old for the toys by this point and there were so many books in the Expanded Universe that all linked in to each other, I had no idea where to start! The Clone Wars film and TV series was released but as a typical teenager I saw an animated show as being too childish for me and refused to watch it, until my final year of uni, when I found myself dealing with the worst hangover imaginable one Saturday. I decided that I wanted to watch something simple that I wouldn’t mind if I fell asleep watching, so finally gave The Clone Wars a chance… within a few hours I was hooked!
The Clone Wars got me back into Star Wars and I found myself watching the cinematic trailers for The Old Republic far too often and losing hours trawling through Wookieepedia learning about Revan and Thrawn and Mara Jade. I also bought a couple of book series that from what I could see did not link in to the rest of the stories quite as much – the Jedi Academy trilogy and the Darth Bane trilogy – but I still found it difficult to experience Star Wars in the way I wanted to due to the sheer number of stories available.
And then, something highly controversial (but for me wonderful) happened: Disney bought Lucasfilm and began their own canon, with the Expanded Universe becoming Legends. Suddenly I was able to start back from square one with everybody else and I could keep track of what happened to everyone in the galaxy, even if I didn’t have the books and the comics myself (I had no space at uni). But then with me moving into my own place after graduating and with the new films and Rebels releasing, I have slowly started to catch upon the books I missed and even started to buy the comics… and not a day goes by where I don’t watch a YouTube video or read an article about Star Wars, to the point that I arguably know more about Star Wars canon than I do UK history!
And now, I look to pass on some of this knowledge and love to you…
What was your Star Wars journey like? Were you there right from the start in 1977? Or was it one of the later trilogies that introduced you to the galaxy? Was it a family member who introduced you to Star Wars, or a friend?
Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…