I have to be honest here... I like Star Wars, but I don't love it. When it comes to "fandoms", I'm a Potterhead, a Mockingjay and a Winchester groupie. Sure, I've seen all the movies, but they never sparked an obsession within me. In fact, I get teased a great amount for preferring Episodes I-III. Growing up, I had a crush on Hayden Christensen. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.
In lieu of the craze surrounding Episode VII's release, I wondered: Why are people so enamored by this series?
I reached out to friends from around the country for some answers.
1. How old were you when you started watching Star Wars?
2. What initially drew you into the series?
3 How has the series impacted your life?
4. Lastly, who is your favorite character?
Michael, Dallas, TX
1. I was young, maybe 7?
2. My dad popped in our VHS of Episode IV one afternoon and was like "This movie is good, want to watch with me?"
3. It teaches the values of doing what's right, knowing who your true friends are, and that deception can be everywhere (remain vigilant, clear your mind). Lest we forget the character quotes which easily apply to every day life (Yoda in particular).
4. I refuse to choose, so top 3: Yoda, Han Solo, Darth Vader
Alli, Buffalo, NY
1. I was just about 11 or 12 when I turned on tbs one day and the Cantina scene of A New Hope was on. I watched the rest of the movie and was hooked. This was a few years before they remastered them or made the prequels so it was on regular cable all the time I guess. Luckily tbs also played the ESB and ROTJ soon after.
2. I actually really didnt know much about Star Wars before watching it that one fateful day. Ive always been into fantasy/sci-fi and I just think the plot really hooked me from the beginning. The characters are funny and weirdly relate-able and the world Lucas created was mesmerizing.
3. I can't say it has had any impact on life or career choices or anything like that but I've always been known as the girl who loves star wars and I think it's a way I stay connected to my childhood. Im a huge nerd and love getting lost in fantasy worlds (LOTR is another huge favorite) so I guess it gives me a way to escape the crappy parts of being an adult in the real world.
4. Boba Fett. I even have a boba tattoo. Just because hes a rebel who is neither fully good or bad. He's just the coolest.
Chris, Buffalo, NY
1. I honestly don't remember, I was pretty young. Maybe 5 or 6. I doubt I appreciated it as a whole at the time, and I distinctly do remember thinking Empire Strikes Back was very boring. Of course, the older I got and the more I watched them, the more I liked them. But it wasn't until my late teens when I slowly began to realize that Empire was a virtual masterpiece, and far and away the deepest of the 3
2. My dad showed them to us long, long ago. Wasn't a "choice", really. More like a rite of passage. I firmly believe that it's every father's duty to introduce their children to Star Wars (as well as the other 80s gems like Die Hard, BTTF and Indiana Jones) at a pretty young age. The fact that you can run into people in their 20s and 30s that haven't even seen SW is mind blowing to me. You don't have to like them, but to not have even SEEN one of them? You failed, dad
3. I love Star Wars. Growing up, I read all the books, played all the games, even built some badass model kits. But I'm not a hardcore nerd, going to conventions dressed up as my favorite sith lord. Not putting them down, that's just a bit much for me. I wouldn't say SW has affected me in an emotional, personal way. But it started me down the scifi path at an early age. Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, too many movies and TV shows to list here; all fantastic stories I've experienced because of Star Wars. Science Fiction as a whole contains some of the deepest, most imaginative experiences in all media. It's sad that the public as a whole seems to view scifi as dorky and unworthy of their time
4. Kyle Katarn. From Stormtrooper to rebel to Jedi Master, what's not to like? Star of the Dark Forces PC series, and all around bad ass. Honorable mention: Davish Krail from the attack on the Death Star in ANH. Just look at him, he is absolutely HAMMERED during the most important battle the rebellion has ever fought. Helmet tilted, chinstrap unbuckled, squinty, slurred speech. This guy is completely lit, and he still managed to do his job and ultimately gave his life in the first trench run. (It's always said there wouldn't be explosions in space as portrayed in these movies. Well, Krail had a BAC of about .37 so all that alcohol had to burn up somewhere)
Ken, Buffalo, NY
1. About 5 years old.
2. The allure of a powerful force and struggle between good and evil.
3. It's always been a source for creativity, imagination and a nostalgic return to my childhood.
4. Probably Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Chris, New Orleans, LA
1.I was 6 or 7 when I first watched the original star wars on laser disc.
2.As a kid, seeing such amazing things like space ships and light sabres really was the initial draw to me. But growing older you really begin to recognize the deeper things like the spiritual aspect of the force. The struggle between father's and sons and the conflict of a rebellion against a racist and evil galactic empire
3. Like I said earlier growing up with these films really shaped my life view, Luke's rise from farm boy to Jedi knight really reminds me of my own adolescence and where I am now in my life.
4. My favorite character of course is Luke Skywalker!
Tony, Montgomery, AL
1. I honestly cannot give you an age/year, but I'd say between 6-8.
2. Recommendation from parents/family. Plus it was Star Wars!! Even as a kid the allure of Star Wars was there!
3. I don't necessarily know how it impacted my life, but it's always been a part of my life. Watching Luke grow from a boy into a Jedi where he finally confronts Vader was almost like a life lesson for me. 4. Salacious B. Crumb!!! That's my guy!!!
I learned a lot by interviewing my friends. Most of them said they could have written WAY more than what I had asked of them. I now have a new-found respect for this fandom and can't wait to see the movie!