When I started this post, it was meant to be a review of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But by the time I had finished my intro and even begun talking about the series, I was at nearly 400 words and the post about the show itself was only going to get longer. Before I knew it, I was over 1,100 words into the post and nowhere near done.
No one wants to read an 1,100+-word blog post about a TV show.
So, rather than write a dissertation on The Clone Wars, I decided that the intro to the post—how I ended up becoming a Star Wars fan—was really a post in and of itself. I’ll blog about The Clone Wars later, possibly in a few different posts. Binge-watching TV shows and then deciding to blog about them seemed great in theory, but that’s a lot of material to try to break down and express your feelings for at once. You probably wouldn’t review all of the Harry Potter books in one post, and likewise, reviewing the entirety of a TV show (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Clone Wars, Breaking Bad, etc.) in one post is a bit over-the-top. Breaking it down by book/season, though, now that’s doable.
Anyway, what were we here to talk about? Ah, yes, becoming a Star Wars fan.
I don’t remember what or when my first Star Wars viewing experience was. It had to have been at some point in my childhood because I know I saw Episodes IV, V, and VI before Episode I came out when I was 10. Yet I have no “first-watch” memory of the original trilogy. I saw Episodes I, II, and III in theaters and have clear memories of II and III because I was a teenager. But I know I didn’t love them. In fact, my strongest feelings for the prequels were that I just really wanted Padme’s dresses.
Clearly, I wasn’t a mega-fan of Star Wars growing up. Honestly, it wasn’t until the past couple of years that I really became an actual fan of Star Wars at all. I had always enjoyed it to some extent—mostly for nerd-cred—but I didn’t go out of my way to watch the movies or buy Star Wars swag or fervently declare my favorite Episode.
My husband Terry, on the other hand, has been a huge fan of Star Wars since childhood. Episode V is his favorite (“Because the good guys are getting their asses kicked. It’s a little more realistic. They won in Episode IV but then the Empire came back with a vengeance… Because bad things happen to good people in the real world and I like that realism.”) He’s also read almost every single Star Wars book (which were once somewhat canon but have since all been retconned by George Lucas, and Disney isn’t beholding themselves to them for Episodes VII, VIII, and IX), he has a Jedi costume he wears for Halloween, and he collects Star Wars action figures. He may not be a total mega-fan either, but he comes pretty close.
Because of his enjoyment of the series, and by virtue of being with him for 10 years and spending lots and lots of time with him and caring about his interests, I’ve not only become much more appreciative of the franchise, but I’ve become an actual fan. It’s hard not to when you know information about characters, events, and technology through the extended universe that you don’t get from the movies alone. For instance, did you know Darth Vader’s gauntlets are the only on-screen representation of Mandalorian crushgaunts? These add to Vader’s already considerable power and strength.
(My friends and I created a drinking game for whenever we watched Star Wars movies: every time Terry knows too much about the Star Wars universe, everyone takes a drink.)
I didn’t care overly when Episode III came out in theaters in 2005. I went because I knew I should, not because I was super excited for the movie. But do I care that Episode VII is coming out in December? Yes, actually, I’m pretty freaking excited for it! For this one, I’ll be going because I want to see what happens next in the universe—how Disney reinterpreted the characters, how different they are from how I know the books are, what the graphics and robotics will look like, who all these new characters are that they show in the trailer… There are so many questions I’m excited to learn the answers to.
And for this movie, I’ll definitely be wearing my Star Wars swag.