I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan. Though I’ve never dressed up as Chewbacca for Halloween, nor slept outside a movie theater the night before a release, I know my fair share about Wampas and Wookies.
I don’t remember when I first watched the trilogy, but my true fandom started in middle school. Of course I loved the movies, but my friends and I took it to the next level. We started playing the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, or Star Wars cards for short. Though I’ve never played Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon, I think there are some similarities.
Each pack of cards cost a few bucks and I remember begging my mom, my dad, and my friend Mike’s older sister to take us to the comic book shop so we could buy them. I remember the car ride, anxiously anticipating that moment when I’d open a pack, hoping I’d get a Darth Vader, or a Han Solo, or maybe even an Imperial-class Star Destroyer.
We loved playing this game, but Mike and I were embarrassed by our obsession. Remember, we were in middle school and wanted to be cool. There was nothing cool about playing Star Wars cards.
My favorite story came on a weekend night at my house. After swimming in my pool, Mike and I sat down for a mean game of Star Wars cards. If I remember correctly Mike used his Rebel deck, and I must have been the Imperials. (I say this because a few weeks before I had spent $35 of my hard-won babysitting money to buy the Grand Moff Tarkin card.)
Anyway, so Mike and I are playing Star Wars cards at the kitchen table and my older brother walks through the front door. He’s with a group of friends, and two of them are among the most popular girls at El Rancho Middle School. (I bet you didn’t know I went to the same school as her, did you?)
Ok, back to the story. So, the two popular girls walk into the house and start heading toward the kitchen. Mike and I look at each other in panic. What if they find out we’re playing Star Wars cards? What if they tell everyone at school how lame we are?
Mike and I scramble to put the cards away, but it’s too late. They come say hi and ask what we’re up to. Busted. That night ended any chance I had of being one of the cool kids, but it didn’t end my love of Star Wars.
High school eventually came and life got busy with sports, school, and everything in between. Unfortunately, or you could argue, fortunately, there was no time for Mike and I to play cards.
Star Wars was largely absent from my life until late 2015. Anticipating the release of The Force Awakens, I bought the original trilogy. I watched A New Hope with my kids and they immediately fell in love with Star Wars. Over the Christmas break we made them lightsabers using pool noodles, duct tape and flash lights.
We did “Star Wars fighting” every night for the next three months. Literally, the first thing they would ask when I got home from work was whether we could have lightsaber fights.
I’ve since purchased two pairs of Star Wars socks and wear them regularly to work.
While the first pair is quite obvious (Vader and Luke), I wear the second when I want to be more subtle (the twin suns of Tatooine, in case you were wondering).
Needless to say, Star Wars has brought a lot of joy into my life. It’s also brought joy into my kids life. I still don’t have plans to get a Chewbacca costume, but I may buy another pair of socks soon. (I think the Cloud City ones would be a nice addition.)
I am grateful for Star Wars.