“How Star Wars Impacted My Life”

Star Wars has been a part of my life since I could remember.  Return of the Jedi was one of the first films I ever saw and has been my favorite movie in the saga ever since.  As a child, I never went anywhere without my Wicket in my pocket. Therefore you can see why I am a staunch defender of the Ewoks and what they represent.  I am “that guy” who inserts a Star Wars reference into any and all conversations.  I have passed on my love of these movies to my children and I am certain my youngest who is now four will soon say, “When I left you I was but a learner.  Now I am the master.”

 

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The younglings getting ready for Star Wars Celebration Orlando earlier this year.

 

Recently on twitter I asked for folks to tell me how Star Wars impacted their lives.  These are the stories of Jesse, Ro and Amanda.  Enjoy!

Jessie – who goes by Jessie Stardust – participates in cosplay and is a lover of Star Wars: The Old Republic.  She is involved in the Passionately Casual Podcast and has a blog entitled Tatooine Dreams.  Here is her story…

I was introduced to Star Wars as a little kid. My mother took me to Star Wars (now called “A New Hope”) in the local cinema. It was one of the first movies, if not THE first movie, that I saw in the theater. It is certainly the first movie I remember seeing. I have many sensory recollections of that day. The sounds and sights, the smell of popcorn and the feelings of awe and imagination that I experienced are with me still, all these years later. I only ever saw it on the big screen once back then; we didn’t have the money for repeat trips to the movies and I kind of doubt my mom was that into it anyway. I was very, very happy, therefore, to have the chance to see it again on the big -no, the immense- screen at Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016. That was a truly special experience for me, seeing it there, surrounded by so many fans who love Star Wars in that deep, visceral way that I love it. I had tears on my face from the opening crawl forward. I will always cherish that day. 

 

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Jesse as Satele Shan at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015

 

Star Wars has impacted my life by grounding me and giving me sense of belonging to something bigger than myself. The Force, to me, is a real thing. Maybe Lucas gave it that name, but there is, in my belief, a real, timeless, energy that has always existed and I feel it in the same way that I feel my breathing or the sunshine on my skin. 

I celebrate Star Wars every day by interacting with beautiful people, mostly on social media, but also at conventions and other gatherings, who are brought together by something in the Star Wars universe that, while different for everyone, unifies us in our passion. I also celebrate by spending ridiculous sums of money on books, tee shirts, toys and other stuff that helps me surround myself in that feeling I first had all those years ago and have never lost sight of: hope. 

My wish for Star Wars fans is that we calm the infighting that seems to be bubbling up and, instead, work on our own issues, foster acceptance, celebrate diversity in the galaxy and embrace EVERYONE into our community. My dream is that we will one day really live those ideals we see played out on the Star Wars screen.

Ro is a husband, father, Sith and nerf herder, although admittedly not necessarily in that order.  Here is how Star Wars has impacted his life…

I was 8 years old. My mom took me to get a hotdog at the Adelphi theater in Roger’s Park neighborhood where we lived in the late 70’s. We had just come out of church and I had a craving for a hot dog. My mother, the good soul she is, decided the only quick place to get a hot dog was the movie theater. 

If you ask anyone that knows me, I eat, sleep and breathe Star Wars. The film, from a creative standpoint, floored me at a young age. To think a team of artists created that look by applying their particular skill sets to a galaxy that did not exist but in the mind of a film maker was an amazing thing to see. (Feel free to use that LinkedIn post I DM’s you)

I can quote SW to apply to almost any situation. My Social Media reflects that, my home and work reflects that. I literally celebrate SW every day by continually being inspired by it’s values, it’s message and the notion that it’s a labor of love for all involved. 

Star Wars changed my life. I am a creative, right-brain thinker, artist, entrepreneur, nerf herder, etc. The resurgence of SW with the Timothy Zahn books and now with Disney owning the franchise SW has been cemented in the world’s consciousness. I feel blessed to have known the story of a farm boy, a princess and a scoundrel. To me it goes way deeper than spaceships and Sith Lords, although Vader is my all time favorite character, period! SW digs deep in to my soul by showing me things and teaching me about others and myself. Family. Fate. Future. It’s all that and more.  

Amanda was actually the first person that replied to my request for stories of how Star Wars impacted your life, and I am so glad she did.  Please read and then re-read this story to understand just how powerful of a Force the Star Wars saga truly is.  She and I both invite you to share her story with others, and you might just save a life.

When I was 21 I was suffering with depression and became suicidal leading me to be hospitalized. After I was released, I was on the road to recovery and I grabbed onto the first thing I could to cheer me up, which was Star Wars. I engrossed myself in the books, delving into the Rogue Squadron series along with various older novels. Playing Knights of the Old Republic over and over again, and watching the films many times. The sense of Hope in Star Wars kept me going and made me realize that things get better. Just like it got better for Luke in the original trilogy, it was going to get better for me. That same year I attended my first Celebration, Celebration 5 in Orlando. It was the happiest day I had, experienced in years. It was the day Carrie Fischer told me a joke and made me laugh for the first time in months. It was the day I felt like I had come home. Star Wars not only saved my life but kept me going. It gave me Hope that even in my darkest days that light will always triumph.

 

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Amanda at Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando

 

I hope you enjoyed these stories as much as I did.  So how has Star Wars impacted your life?  Please share this story, leave a comment, and hit me up on twitter @starwarschief so we can keep this going!  And as always, may the Force be with you!

 

 

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