Tuesday, May 25, 2010

STAR WARS: The Last Laugh

I've been a Star Wars fan practically all my life. It wasn't always easy.

I saw the movie in the Summer of 1977, probably not long after it opened, which was 33 years ago today. I was only...what, 2½ years old then? No matter. Mom, and later Dad, took me anyway. Several times. By all accounts, I was quiet, still and well-behaved, just watching my movie.

My love was immediate and unconditional. I was enraptured. Seeing Star Wars awoke in me a life-long passion for the fantastic, the adventurous, the awesome. Hence gaming and stuff.

Now...that is fine and dandy for a little kid, and maybe even for a pre-teen. Right? Ahh, but you get into junior high, and the rules change...

In December of 1987, aged 13, I came back to the United States from a six-year-long traumatic stay in Mexico. (That would be a whole other story; in fact, it could be a freaking Lifetime Network movie, with lies, betrayals, abuse, psychics and the FBI. This is one time when I am really, seriously, not joking. Regardless, we'll not touch on it here.) Needless to say, I came back in a pretty bad emotional and psychological state. Compound it with culture shock (Mexico City to Bloomington, Indiana -- WHAMMO!) and the general pants-wetting horror that is adolescence, and...uh...

...I was in a pretty weird place, tell ya the truth.

Luckily, I had Star Wars.

It was something to hold on to, something solid, something constant. Something that I still understood. Something that my peers knew about, and to which we could relate.

Except when they didn't, which was a lot of the time.

I took a lot of flack for liking Star Wars back then. The other kids were growing out of it, so they saw my fixation with Star Wars as kind of...I dunno, silly? Infantile? Ridiculous? Hell, I don't know. I don't know but that they teased me about it, and no doubt it helped to create for them this image of me as a weirdo, outsider, nuts, whatever.

I persevered. I cherished Star Wars as a playground for the imagination, especially after I got the RPG. At that point, that universe became a retreat as well as a hobby to help train myself to be the storyteller and fantasist I decided I wanted to be...and to keep myself from really going nuts, if you dig me.

Eventually, I fell in with the other kids who still liked the movies, and other fantasy, science fiction and such: The geeks. The nerds. The comics fans, the Trekkies, the gamers.

Oh, I was laughed at some more. I persevered. I just kinda did my thing; it was working for me.

Ha! Check out the Star Wars guy. But it's for kids! Nobody likes Star Wars anymore!

...who's laughin' now, ya jerksticks?