I was 10 years old when Star Wars was released to theaters in 1977. I was thrilled, enchanted, and excited. Although the movie itself was great, I think what really, truly hooked me was the toys. Being able to play with the characters and ships from the movie was a big part of what pushed Star Wars from very cool movie to cultural phenomenon.
Then The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980 (I was 13). More movie greatness and even more toys. The regular characters came with new costumes, and there were all new characters — my favorite being Boba Fett, which I had to order by sending in proofs of purchase from other toys. This movie not only built on what we had seen and learned about the Star Wars Universe in the first movie (which became known as Episode IV, A New Hope, instead of just Star Wars), but it ended with an obvious to-be-continued plot.
Then came the final movie, Return of the Jedi, in 1983 (I was 16). This was my favorite of the three movies — I loved the emotional battle between Luke and the Emperor and Darth Vader in the second Death Star’s throne room. Vader: “Sister! So, you have a twin sister. . . . If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will.”
Around this time (mid 80s) I read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the first non-movie Star Wars novel (published 1978), and the Han Solo Adventures trilogy of novels (published 1979). I was totally steeped in the Star Wars mythology. Through the 1990s I read another dozen of the then expanding list of Star Wars Universe novels: the Thrawn trilogy, the Black Fleet Crises trilogy, some of the X-Wing series, and a few more individual novels.
By the late 90s, I had watched or read pretty much everything there was to watch or read about Star Wars. I was not a fanatic about Star Wars, but I was a true fan. I wasn’t reading the books to keep up with the latest in the ST Universe, I just really liked the stories — they had some great authors. The fact that these great stories were continuing with the characters and universe and mythology that I’d originally come to love at age 10 was just icing on the cake.
But the number of new books coming out each following year was increasing faster than my ability or desire to read them all. But I was still very well versed in the core of the SW Universe. I loved talking about the stories, the characters, the technology, the mythology, and the little bits of trivia with other like-minded SW geeks.
Then, in 1999, the next Star Wars movie came out — a prequel to the first three movies. I was extremely excited. I was then working with a bunch of other Star Wars fans (well, 3 of the 6 of us) and we were all excited to see the movie.
To be continued. . .