Star-Crossed: A Complicated Valentine to ‘Star Wars’ Story

Anyone who has watched the Star Wars films likely has a formative memory for when they first saw any of the movies, or more recently, the shows in that universe. My memories started early in life, not long after the first movie arrived on the screen in 1977. I was three.

It left an imprint on me that lasted my entire life and ultimately resulted in my writing my own space opera. But I want to dig into the journey I’ve taken as a Star Wars fan.

Twin Suns, Walking Carpets, and A New Hope

My toddler eyes weren’t exactly sure what they were seeing in that movie theater back in 1977. But I was hooked. I became intrigued by the fact that a planet could have two suns. I loved R2-D2, didn’t like the remote Luke faced with his helmet on, I thought Chewbacca was very tall, and I wanted to fly into space. My older siblings ranged in fandom at the time from uninterested to obsessed, and I fell in the latter category also. I couldn’t get any action figures, though.

Fandom on Ice

When The Empire Strikes Back debuted, I was primed and ready. I had seen the first film a few times in reruns, although my family did not yet have a VCR. After watching Empire, I became a superfan. 

Shows and Books 

In the pre-Internet era, news about any new Star Wars IP was hard to come by. I took anything I could get: Ewok Adventures, Droids, and the Timothy Zahn books. I wanted more movies, but so did every Star Wars fan.

The Prequel

Once The Phantom Menace (Episode I) began production, my excitement grew stratospheric. I built up a great deal of hope that it would be great. Once it arrived, I felt a strange mix of emotions.