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.