The FORCE has always been with me…

Since High School, it seems that Star Wars has been a ‘FORCE’ in my life.

Now, it’s not that I’ve learned any grand lessons watching the movies.  I can’t tell you that Qui-Gon Jinn changed my life or I wouldn’t have grown up the man I am if it weren’t for R2-D2.  No, I’d dare say, I’d grown up just fine without a galaxy far far away.  But, I’m just here to say that Star Wars is one of those fandoms that stuck with me.

It all started in high school.  Now, those of you who don’t know me need to realize that I am an old fan-boy.  I was in high school when the original Star Wars debuted in the theaters.  And I missed it…well, sort of.

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You see, I didn’t get to the theater too much back then.  In fact, the nearest one was a half hour away and still is from the sleepy little town of Spring City, TN.  I remember seeing Flash Gordon and the original Superman in that theater in Dayton, but not much else.  No, my first exposure to this space epic was through our schools band…yep.

Pop culture was enamored with everything Star Wars at the time.  And the music was one of the reasons.  John Williams composed an amazing score for that movie and our band director took full on advantage of both the great music and its popularity.  Their spring concert was centered around it.  And I just happened to have tons of friends in the band including my cousin and my girlfriend, so I got the inside scoop.  In other words, this was going to be a concert to remember and NOT miss!

So, I went.  And I was WOWED!  They didn’t’ just play the music, they acted many of the scenes out along with a working R2-D2 and a fight scene over head between Tie-Fighters and X-Wings.  There were people dressed up in Chewbacca and C3P0 costumes.   It just captured my already vast imagination.

1399664183731 I don’t have to tell you how Star Wars shattered the sci-fi genre of the times.  It was a unique epic and would develop an army of fans who would eat, sleep, talk and consume everything from the movies, toys, games and tv shows.  I remember sitting through that train wreck tv show that Thanksgiving; eating all of that craziness up.  It was weird and off point, but it was Star Wars and I LOVED IT!

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When Empire Strikes Back came out in theaters, I HAD to be there.  I was in college and was SUPPOSED to take my future wife with me.  But she ran late getting off work and our ride was leaving.  So, I did what any self-respecting boyfriend would do; I left her.  To this day, I have not lived that moment down.  But I’ve also had no regrets.  EMPIRE remains my favorite of the series.

I remember sharing my fascination with Star Wars with my children.  Every time a new episode would come out, the kids and me would be there.  Never missed it; prequels and all.  Loved every minute of every movie.  I have never left the theater disappointed.

When my oldest got to middle school and wanted to start a RPG with his friends, I pulled the old WEST END GAMES Star Wars RPG and led them into the universe on their own adventures.  I ran the game with the aid of the DARK HORSE PRESS comics about what happened after RETURN OF THE JEDI.  I followed the expanded universe with glee; especially CRIMSON EMPIRE.  I wasn’t much for reading the novels, but loved the comic adaptions and characters.  That was quite an adventure of which I write about and have actually developed an independent comic about the characters they created.

I was fine with the prequels, but after last Christmas, I was fan-boying hardcore to the new turn of Star Wars stories and cannot wait to see Rogue ONE!  I expect to see it with, at least, my kids and, maybe, my two grand kids.  THAT would be an honor indeed.

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