May 4th, 2018

love

Happy Star Wars day!



Star Wars was my first fandom, before I knew such a thing existed. I loved the original trilogy so much I wanted to write something just like it; I read every Star Wars book I could get my hands on, I got every Star Wars Lego set that was vaguely within my family's price range (and I still own them all, carefully packed away in their original boxes), I listened to John Williams conducts John Williams: the Star Wars Trilogy until I had the album practically memorized. One time when I was stuck at my grandmother's house, I spent hours entertaining myself by trawling through the forums on TheForce.net for fanfic without even knowing that's what it was called. (She had very slow dial-up; it was an exercise in patience but it beat the VC Andrews books she kept hidden under her bed.) I'd borrow audio recordings of the books from the library and make my family listen to them on car trips. (I really ought to thank my mom for bearing with me over that; she's not really a sci-fi person and some of those books got rather ... weird. I can't find it listed anywhere, but I'm pretty sure there was one that involved parasitic beetle-things that in high enough numbers could take over peoples' minds.)

My sister and I spent long afternoons recording little Star Wars sketches on our old cassette player--as I recall, she was quite good at making R2-D2 noises. We even wrote a silly Star Wars ditty together: When the Wookie-birds begin to sing // My ears begin to ring // My nose turns pink // My eyes begin to blink // And my head wants to fall right off -- nonsense, yes, but it's fun to sing and we were quite gleeful at 9 and 11 to have invented it.

Later, when we had better internet, Star Wars introduced me to the concept of fan vids--Troopers and IMPS: The Relentless remain highlights for me, but I spent quite a few weekends bouncing around both the forums and Youtube, tracking down various 'highly recommended' Jedi sagas, and was indeed frequently impressed by the production value of these works of love.

Even now, I'm slowly collecting digital copies of Timothy Zahn's entries into the Star Wars EU (may it rest in peace), because his books, unlike the vast majority of the others, easily stand the test of time. They function on their own as satisfying space opera, as well as conveying all the things I loved so much about the characters and universe of the movies. (His Luke, in particular, is spot-on--I usually wind up hearing his dialog in Mark Hamill's voice as I'm reading it.)

And as for the prequels ... well, despite all their faults, they made me fall in love with Obi-Wan, and reminded me of the days when all I wanted was to explore that far, far away galaxy (preferably via X-wing, with a spunky droid for company). I was delighted to recently discover Ruth Baulding's extensive library of prequel-based fic--and with it Jedi who were believable as warrior-monks. (I think her fics currently make up at least a quarter of my Kindle library.) In her hands, they turn into a functional culture and system of beliefs and traditions.

I have a good friend who scoffs a bit at the original trilogy as just tropy pulp--and I usually quite respect and agree with her opinion on such things, but in this matter we must take separate paths. The original trilogy matters to me in a way no others really do. There are other movies that I probably enjoy more, and would more highly recommend for their writing and acting and all the rest--but none of them had the impact on me that Star Wars did. It ... altered me, in some fundamental way that's been unmatched by any other story in any other medium.

And I'm very glad for that--because otherwise I most likely wouldn't be here, babbling at you all on LJ. And that's a thing that's all but unimaginable to me. :hugs everybody: