Today is the day. Star Wars is back! It's been a long time coming for all of us Star Wars fans. For the last 3 years we have speculated and hyped up this movie. Many blogs were shared. Many comments written. I too wrote a post. I wrote an article on the top ten reasons why Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is the Most Important Film of All Time. I got a lot of feedback from readers that thought I was making "too big of a deal" out of it. Then a few weeks ago a certain Fox News pundit belittled the franchise and those who are so passionate about it, calling us freaks for loving Star Wars. Is this true? Am I a freak for thinking so much of this franchise? I don't think so. Let me explain why Star Wars means so much to me.
I'll start at the beginning. A long time ago...
I grew up in a big family, 7 children in all. With 4 older sisters, I was the only boy until I was 13. I love my sisters, but they were interested in very different things than I was as a child. I spent the majority of my time hiding in my room building legos, reading comics, and most of all playing with my Star Wars action figures. In fact, my earliest memory is of playing with a Luke Skywalker action figure on my grandmother's porch. I don't remember being introduced to Star Wars. I've always known it. Star Wars was my childhood.
Star Wars was like my big brother. I would watch it all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. I remember imagining what it would be like if Luke and Han were around to give me advice like big brothers. When I was 5, my family went through an incredibly difficult period, I clung to Star Wars. Everything around me was different and unreliable, but Han and Chewie were always there for me.
I remember lining all of my figures in front of the tv and watching Empire Strikes Back. I remember my friend down the street gathering our Rebel soldiers and snow troopers at the first sight of snow to have a Hoth battle. I remember sitting on my bed and listening to Return of the Jedi on cassette with my eyes closed just imagining my favorite characters fighting to save the galaxy. I would jump around in my backyard playing with my green lightsaber. Star Wars is ingrained in my life.
Star Wars helped shape who I am. I try to be a creative, innovative, and caring person partially due to the effects Star Wars had in my life. I love to read, watch, and listen to good stories partially because they remind me of my childhood and that beloved franchise. Star Wars showed me that anyone can make a difference even against seemingly unbeatable foes; even a moisture farmer from Tatooine could take down the Empire. As corny as it may sound, there is a lot of wisdom a young boy can learn from Yoda, Obi-wan, and Luke. I soaked it all in. Star Wars gave me so much and I am thankful for each and every part of it.
And now it's back. Just in time too. I am now the father of two young boys and now they will be given the same opportunities to enjoy such an incredible tale as I had. They will be able to make their own memories with stories meant specifically for them. The feelings I have for Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia and the gang are perhaps the feelings they will have for Rey, Finn, and Poe.
That's why I love Star Wars so much. It's why I'm so excited to see this new franchise. It's also why I think it's so important that Lucasfilm keeps making these beautiful stories. And I don't think I'm alone.
What's your Star Wars story?
For more from Dean check out his podcast coming soon Blockbuster Addict.