Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who wanted to be Han Solo. She took an old black vest and masking-taped a cut-out pocket inside of it, as her secret smuggler's pouch.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who threw all "age appropriate" books out the window and read nothing but Star Wars novels from age 9 on out.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who built a life size version of the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon out of tinker toys in her basement.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who spent as much time as possible with friends who grew to love Star Wars just as much as she did. Action figures and computer games (with joysticks for the ultimate X-wing experience) were staples for years of "hangout time" to come.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who had every Star Wars encyclopedia and guide book memorized to the tiniest detail.
|These 1st two photos are care of SWBFF Carolyn Nishon.|
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who subscribed to the Star Wars Insider--a monthly (and later, bimonthly) magazine for fans. She especially loved Anthony Daniels' hilarious column, and sometimes would allow herself to skip ahead just to read it. Of course, she would go back to read the rest of the magazine multiple times over to make up for it.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who gave herself a Star Wars name and invented an entire alien species, language, and culture to match. (Katla Srivon, Kalokian X-Wing Squad pilot, at your service.)
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl following every shred of news she could find--pre-internet!--about The Phantom Menace. Who got spoiled about Qui-Gon's death because she bought the CD before the movie hit (a track is literally called "Qui-Gon's Funeral"). Who then saw the film 9 times in theaters, and was puzzled why everyone at school started to treat it like it was a joke.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who tried to remain loyal as a fan while everything she loved got mocked around her.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who clung to her Star Wars novels as a place to hide away from the bitterness that slowly began surrounding her obsession.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who stood fast and went to the midnight show of Attack of the Clones. And cheered loudly with the entire audience when Yoda drew his lightsaber.
Before The Force Awakens, there was a girl who loved Star Wars. Who lived it, breathed it, to such an extreme level she was convinced somehow it had to be real. It just had to be. Somehow. Please. Please.
Before The Force Awakens, that girl became an adult.
Star Wars became a thing of the past to her. Her old self. The child she once was and often misses being. The fantasy world she lived in to cope with adolescence.
Before The Force Awakens, that girl learned there would be new Star Wars movies. OH MY GOSH YAY!!! ...And then she learned that these movies would destroy the entire canon knowledge she had memorized in her bones from the books beyond Return of the Jedi.
...Her childhood gone. Like Alderaan. In one horrific moment.
Before The Force Awakens, that girl felt crushed that they would do this to her. That they would take away something she cherished so deeply. That they would pull this on their fans! The ones who had stayed by them, even through the roughest of times!!! It wasn't fair!
Before The Force Awakens, that girl had to come to terms with a lot of things. That the world didn't know Star Wars like she did, save for a select few who weren't anywhere near making up a majority of movie-goers. That her childhood might be over, but that wasn't a bad thing. That she was now in a position to create stories of her own for new generations. That her 9 year-old self would, once again, pass out in excitement to see where she was, and what she was doing.
Before The Force Awakens, that girl had to remind herself that in order to be excited about the future, a person can't cling to the past. That it was finally time to grow up...
...And give herself the chance to be a kid again.
This Thursday, I'll be sitting in a theater full of fans, music blasting me to a galaxy far, far away.
And finally, I'm happy to report, I am very, very excited about it.
After all, you never know how 2 hours can change your entire life.