It’s Star Wars Day, ladies and gentlemen! Let’s celebrate!
I was born the same year that the original Star Wars, Episode IV, was released, and I’ve always felt kind of a bond with the series because of that. Star Wars was one of the first films I remember seeing. My parents were fans, and as soon as I was old enough to understand (I want to say I was 6 or 7 years old, but my memory is hazy), my mom sat down and watched it with me on TV, explaining things to me when I wasn’t sure what was going on. Return of the Jedi was the first film I saw in the theater. I love the music, have read novels, watched the cartoon series, read comics, and played many of the video games. Star Wars has simply been a huge influence on my life.
As a kid, I didn’t really appreciate Luke much, not until I was older and began to understand more about storytelling and structure; I was all about Chewie, Han and Leia. I seriously wanted to be Leia when I was little. Her character was probably the biggest influence on my love of strong female characters in fiction. Sure, she initially needed to be rescued, but she took charge right away, and proved herself a strong leader even under emotional duress, and her strength was not suddenly removed or undermined as soon as she was in a relationship with a man.
As much as I love the original movie trilogy featuring Luke, Leia, Han & company, my absolute favorite time period to read and write about in Star Wars is the Old Republic era, as established in the Knights of the Old Republic game series. (I’m a huge Atton fangirl!) Dev and I have written a lot of fanfic set in this time period, both based on the games themselves and on an original concept, set several years after the game timelines. Dev also created a fan audio drama based on one of our fics.
Do I always agree with everything creator George Lucas does with regard to the series? Of course not. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s his series to create and his final say. It’s like getting angry at your favorite author for killing off a beloved character. Does it really change the time you’ve spent with that character previously? You can still crack open a book to those earlier scenes and find that character there just the same as you remember them. You don’t lose what went before just because the future may be different. (Well, I’m also of the opinion that if you don’t like what the creator does, you can always write your own stories in the universe for your own enjoyment.)
Personally, I really value what Star Wars has brought into my life, no matter where it may go in the future.
I value the experiences I had watching the movies with my parents. I value the fun of reading the extended universe novels. I value the people I’ve met through the fandom. I value the creativity that Star Wars has sparked within me. I value one of my all-time favorite characters, who was created as a Star Wars universe fanfic character. I value going to the Celebration conventions and feeling the energy of a room full of people who are passionate about the same thing you are.