May the Fourth be with you
I (John, btw) have been a Star Wars fanatic since before I can clearly remember. One of my earliest memories (Not my earliest, but definitely second or third) is of watching A New Hope and being fucking entranced. This opened up a new realm of imagination for me. I remember my friends and I crouching underneath a picnic table at school, pretending to fly the Falcon through hyperspace, dodging Imperial troops (The 5th graders) along the way. For years, the toys, figurines, models, and otherwise filled my room. The lightsabers (I have four) still live within reach of my desk. I even remember talking about the rumored Episode VII, a distinct possibility even in the early 90s. This was my first entry into a fandom. It would not be my last.
When I was a bit older, the EU(Expanded Universe, kiddies!) provided a huge amount of solace for me during a difficult time in my life. I submerged myself into the world, learning of the Mandalorians, fighting against the Yuuzhan Vong, delving into the mysteries of The Force, trying to decide if I wanted to be Sith or Jedi. During this time, the prequels were made. I was so happy to have more, I dragged my parents to see Episode One three or four times while it was still in theaters. Is the movie terrible? Unequivocally. But it brought me such joy at the time, a time where I didn’t know that movies could be bad. By the time the second and third prequel had been released, we knew they were going to be equally bad. But did we see them? Hell fucking yes we did. More recently, when Disney first bought Lucasarts, everyone was up in arms and worried about the ruination of Star Wars. I said, “No, friends. No. Whenever Disney makes the new movie, come opening night you’ll be exactly where I will be: In costume and in line to be let into the theater.” Because it’s The Wars, baby. It’s in our blood.
We love Star Wars with a fiery passion. The kind of passion that seems problematic, especially considering its many, many faults. The only real female presence, no matter how passionate and powerful, is bikini clad, impotent and silent by Episode VI. Even after her rescue, everything is done to emphasize her femininity, and take her out of the action. Every single one of the female X-Wing pilots were cut out of A New Hope before it even went to theaters. Lando Calrissian is apparently the only black man in the galaxy. This is just scratching the surface of why we shouldn’t love Star Wars like we do. But we still rabidly flock to buy, watch, read, and play whenever the opportunity presents itself. So why? Why do we love Star Wars?
We don’t love it because everything about it is gold. We don’t love it because George Lucas is a Writing/Directing god among men(he’s reeeeeeeally not). We love Star Wars because it’s like going home after a long absence. We love Star Wars because it empowers the child within us, the one that still believes that in the end, good will always triumph over evil. That no matter how dark things get, how alone you may feel, there is always, always a reason to hope. And that is why I love Star wars.