Ohio "It's a Star Wars thing; you wouldn't understand." ;)

Discussion in 'Mid West Regional Discussion' started by MaverickJedi, Apr 2, 2005.

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  1. MaverickJedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2004
    star 1
    Okay, time for a Mav story! ;)

    So there I was in the toy aisle at Target today; despite numerous (and in the end, unsuccessful) bids telling myself that I didn't need to check out all the cool new Episode III merchandise. There, among the dense crowd, I met a man who also had his father and his son with him, all searching for new Star Wars action figures.

    We struck up small talk while aiding each other for the missing details on our lists. I plowed through a good three rows searching for the Emperor for him and he grinned at me sheepishly.

    "Sort of funny for a guy my age, huh?" he said. No doubt he mistook me at once for all of fifteen; I'm used to it by now.

    I paused, reflecting on someone's past admonishing that Star Wars was immature, that it was a thing of the past, that it was not something to dwell on. I searched this stranger's eyes and in an instant, felt that I knew him. His blue orbs danced and the wrinkles and years melted away from his face.

    I looked on his dad and his son - the little tow-headed youth that could've passed for an extra Padawan on the set of George Lucas's latest epic - and I smiled back at him, shaking my head.

    "Where I come from," I said, "Anything that can bring three generations together nowadays is a worthwhile endeavor."

    And there it was. The truth I had been searching for.

    He stuck out his hand at me and introduced himself, and I accepted the warm shake. After exchanging names he peered at the dogtags that are forever around my neck.

    "What branch?" he asked.

    "Air Force, sir," I said, as though I knew this man was somehow my better.

    He was. He was retired Army, and a police officer, too. Our hands ceased to graze the packages of action figures while we chewed on for a while about criminal justice, colleges we attended, and what it's like to be a soldier.

    Basic American cameraderie.

    Courtesy of Star Wars.

    It dawned on me then, after I had left him behind in the aisle with his father and his son; it's not just the saga. It's the people it brings you to meet.

    It's the friendships that are keepers for life. It's the people I never would have known otherwise. The best friend I would never have found from thousands of miles away. It's all the experience and eccentricities and love and new things and pastimes and yes, broader horizons that they, in turn, bring to your life.

    Yeah, I found the truth out today. Somehow I've always known it. Now I can explain it.

    But you know what? It's a Star Wars thing. If I had to explain it, you wouldn't understand anyway. ;)
  2. Jade-Walker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    star 4
    That's a cool story :)
    I have had some very dark times in the past 2 years. And my faith in God and Star Wars have really pulled me through. At times, I think that He has used it as a means to help me feel more connected to life.

    When I was isolated, I could connect to people all over the world that were just as ticked as I was that Anakin Solo was murdered by Denning and Del Rey.

    I hooked up with the Jedi Knights of Cleveland and made some really good friends to go and do things with.

    I also got into costuming which gives me a hobby that I very much enjoy and also gives me a set of friends and connections no matter where I go. When I changed jobs and moved acros the state, I later found that I have 501st members across the state line that I really like and now have developed a good friendship with them. And I have begun to build friendships through our own Fan Force. :)

    And most of all, I met Moff_D. I got to know him as a friend online much before we ever even met in person. So the relationship was based on more than superficial attraction based on looks. I know him for who he is and he knows me for who I am. And we love the person underneath the walls and defenses.
    We have a hobby in common through Star Wars and really can enjoy it in so many different forms--reading, costuming, toy collecting, and then there's the movies themselves. ;) I feel very blessed that God used this medium to bring us together. :) [face_love]
  3. Tobey-Wan FanForce CR Northwest Ohio

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2001
    star 9
    I remmber back in 2002 that I was out at Wal-Mart at 7:00AM on the day the toys were released. It was just me and another guy (similar in age or possible a bit older than me) and we helped each other find some figures and talked a bit. It was a cool experience. I found the same thing at C2, that you could just out of nowhere strike up a conversation with someone you'd never met before.
  4. MaverickJedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2004
    star 1
    Tobey, that is so cool, and the fact that we all have similar stories even makes it cooler. Star Wars is obviously something bigger than "just a couple sci fi movies."

    "I have had some very dark times in the past 2 years. And my faith in God and Star Wars have really pulled me through. At times, I think that He has used it as a means to help me feel more connected to life."

    Jade - me, too.

    As a Christian I am rather inclined to believe that things happen by means of divine intervention, for a reason. I think that Star Wars was definitely used as a medium to help me find an outlet for dark times and connect me to other people, as well.

    Example: When I was growing up, my grandfather was very, very sick. He was really my "daddy" in many a sense since my father worked away from home to support the family. When the original Zahn books came out, I began to have a fledling interest in fan fiction and wrote my own SW stories. Manipulating those characters and making them feel the way I did - and seeing them through to a happy ending I was unsure I would myself see - turned out to be a saving grace as a kid.

    Later, I met my very best friend through some (now defunct) SW message boards. Though she lives in California we have seen each other many times and I swear that she is a kindred spirit, or soul mate of sorts. I certainly would never have found her if not for our shared interest in Star Wars.

    I decided to share the little story above because a former friend of mine used a snide remark about Star Wars being immature as some of her parting words. After having these experiences I can see that it is she who is the close-minded one.

    Actually, as a military girl facing some real-life issues about life, death, war, and friends being deployed to Iraq, I think it is FAR from immature to hang onto those few things that can give us that child-like joy and keep us young. :)
  5. Moff_D Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2002
    star 5
    This thread almost makes me cry (in a good way ;) )

    Just Saturday morning, while Jade and I were standing in line at TRU (no midnight madness up here) we struck up a conversation with the guy behind us. Unabashedly a SW fan, as were all the others. I used to be reluctant to mention my love of SW, but now its no problem. Who is having the fun? The people costuming, talking about SW, meeting other fans and so on, or the people who sit back and make fun and don't get involved in anything? Screw it I say! Embrace it! :D SW crosses all ages and cultures. I know people all over the world now because of SW and although never having met most of them in person we are bound by a love for the same thing. SW fans are almost universally a friendly, warm, self-deprecating bunch. They are people I want to be with.

    And there is one in particular I likely would have never met if not for SW. How different life might have been... [face_love]

    One other thing: don't get between Jade and the toys she really wants. [face_laugh] We scooped some forceful fat broad twice on Saturday at two different stores. It was great :D
  6. Jade-Walker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    star 4
    You're totally right about people who don't get it.
    I mean, how many "cult classics" are there out there that have no sex, no language, no nudity (well, aside from Chewbacca :p), and very little violence? This is one of the cleanest enterpirses that you can get involved in! How many of your favorite movies would you be able to show your 5 year old child without any reservation? ;)

    I know that I've gotten more than my share of odd looks when I tell people that I met my boyfriend (a) through Star Wars and (b) on the internet.
    Luckily, with the world of internet dating increasing, point (b) is becoming less odd for people to understand. ;)

    And you're a Christian? Very :cool:
  7. MaverickJedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2004
    star 1
    I'm so glad I am among people here who can appreciate these things on such a deeper level. I know that Lucas originally intended his series to be "for a generation growing up without fairy tales" - and to be honest that is part of the appeal. There are deep lines of myth, philosophy, and moralism that can be drawn universally across the globe in many cultures, and all of those themes are represented in the Star Wars films.

    And yup, Jade, I am a Christian, have been for quite some time. Actually there have been points in my life where faith was lacking and I happened to be bumming around watching SW when I would hear a line in a new light that I would take out of context and apply to my own spiritual life. I can remember one example in my first year of college - I went to a very hard school - I was no longer the big fish in the small pond. I had always excelled at everything and now I was in an environment where all of the "best of the best" had been chosen for my program of study. It was a hard self-discovery to find that I hadn't really been working that hard through high school, despite my academic and athletic successes. I was pretty down on myself and school and didn't even want to finish up. So I was moping watching ESB (cutting class I might add), drowning in some nice self-pity, when I heard Yoda's spiel about "luminous being are we, not this crude matter" in a new light. Suddenly the bulb went off and I thought... you know what, I am being absolutely RIDICULOUS. LOL So I started working at my school work and stopped being so focused on life's trivial crud. I really got back to basics and my faith as a result of that moment.

    AND... this whole thread makes me feel so much better about that former "friend's" immature stab at my love of the saga. :)

  8. Tobey-Wan FanForce CR Northwest Ohio

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2001
    star 9
    MaverickJedi posted on 4/5/05 12:11pm



    />

    There was a post in the C3 forums about "Where do you tell people you're going instead of telling them you're going to a Star Wars convention?". My response simply was, "I tell them I'm going to C3". Why lie? Are we to be ashamed of being fans? If so, then why be fans at all. I take some ribbing for my fandom, but most of it good-natured. Well, at least I think it is. ;)/>/>
  9. Darth-Shul Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 1
    My daughter has a 2 hour delay for kindergarten and guess what movie she just put in? TESB. My 2 year old son also knows all the characters and dances to all my cd's when I play them. We watch AOTC about every other friday before bed. I mean what is better, playing video games, or watching some garbage on cartoon network? My daughter and son have galactic heroes and other figures and they want to play every night with dad. I dare anyone on this planet to convince me how that can possibly be strange or silly. I have numerous SW ties that I wear all the time for work. The thing I find humorous is every time I wear them I have people of all ages nad occupations tell me about their own SW story or "May the force be with you". It is truly a part of our culture. I certainly agree that besides maybe ROTS what other movies can you take your kids to and engage them nowadays.

    My daughter was more excited about going to t-r-us at midnight on friday than she was on christmas eve. I bet she won't soon forget her dad waking her up and going in her pj's with her dad. As well as CIII. I thank GL for creating a different version of good vs evil. He has given my family and millions of others something wonderful to share.
  10. Jade-Walker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2002
    star 4
    Mav: I'm glad that we made you feel better. :)

    Tobey: When I started into the TFN boards and started attending the FF meetings, I was embarrassed about it. But when I started this job, they knew from the day of the interview that I'm a SW geek and proud of it. :D

    Shul: I bet she won't soon forget her dad waking her up and going in her pj's with her dad.
    That's just awesome. :D
  11. MaverickJedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2004
    star 1
    I'm sure she won't forget it. On the same note, I know most of you are aware that I lost my own father in November - very unexpectedly. My father and I had a sort of tense relationship - he served in the military too, and I guess was never really emotionally healed from the wounds incurred during his wartime service. But there are three memories that really stand out to me, when it's hard to think of any others: dad letting me cut class and taking me to see the Special Edition of ROTJ while I was in high school; when in college, missing the first day of Episode I figures and coming home to one of every figure they had put out ("I didn't know which ones you wanted, so I got them all."); and last, dad getting me a copy of the OT on DVD because he knew at the time I was working very hard, living on very little, and he knew it was one thing that would bring me joy.

    Without Star Wars, I wouldn't have those memories.

    On a lighter note, I put in for an entire 5 days off at work for Episode III / my birthday back in JANUARY. And I told my boss I don't care who calls in, calls off, is sick, or if the place burns to the ground... I have more pressing matters at hand that day. ;)
  12. Lord_Haldir Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2005
    I've had many an experience like what you have described. Starting back in 1995 when the line of action figures and the onther little kids and I would work together to scoop up action figures from the "big, bad collectors". Looking back, those are the memories that always bring a smile to my face. Going to Celebration II and Celebration III was an experience like I'd never had before. Being around people who would actually understand who Lak Sivrak was, was mind blowing. In fact, one of the best memories that I took away from Celebration II was having a trivia contest with the guys in front of us.
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