15 years ago today, I first set foot on a message board known as the Jedi Council Forums, hosted by theforce.net. I was brought there, or here rather, after I started to grow more and more interested in a new obsession that would later find significant permanence in my life thanks to the actions taken that day. After doing some searching, I found out that there were a few fan clubs that existed, but only one of them truly stood out to me. The 501st Legion and Rebel Legion were the main big ones, but I didn’t have a costume and at 14 years of age I was much too young to join. FanForce was the option that I chose, and I was delighted to find out that there was a local chapter that met at the comic book store nearby (Atomic Comics in Mesa - RIP). I recall all of this now because there is a few similarities between 2017 and 2002 as far as Star Wars is concerned, the main one being that the release of a second film in a new trilogy - which as far as 2017 is concerned, officially released today. What a coincidence! On the same day I took my first step into a larger world as far as the Star Wars fandom is concerned, a new Star Wars movie has its world debut. Anyways, that following month, on January 11, 2003 I went to my first meeting. I was surprised to find out that I was by far the youngest one present. I was even more surprised however, and pleasantly so, to find out they accepted me with open arms, more inclusively than anyone I knew who was my age. The other members had all outgrown their teenage immaturity, and that turned out to be quite advantageous to me. They didn’t care about anything other than what we had in common. A deep and everlasting love for Star Wars. A love that they helped cultivate and grow, as I formed friendships with many people who I still to this day consider role models and an important part of my upbringing. For quite some time I remained the kid of the group. The “padawan” of sorts. Practically all the way til the time the group unfortunately sputtered out and died from a lack of activity, in fact. But now, I think it might be time to take on a different role. More than anything, I would love to “pass on what I have learned” to a new generation of Star Wars fans. This isn’t something I would want to do on my own however. More than anything, I would prefer to have the blessing, or even the involvement of those that came before me who left an unforgettable impression on me. Failing that, this is something I would still need the involvement of several other Star Wars fans in the area to achieve. I know they’re out there too. I was at the theater seeing The Last Jedi last night a half hour early and all but a few of the seats were taken by the time I got there, so I'm not going to take the defeatist approach and assume nobody's interested. Lets ignore Kylo Ren on this one. I’m not about to let the past die. Lets rise anew from the ashes, like the namesake of the city we live in. Who’s with me?