Discovering Star Wars

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I didn’t grow up watching Star Wars. Unfortunately, witnessing Han being frozen in carbonite left me in a state of terror. So, I abandoned Star Wars for a few years until The Force Awakens.

I was watching Disney Channel in my university dorm. I can’t remember the program that was on. What I do remember was that I wasn’t really paying attention… until a commercial spot for The Force Awakens came on.

I was intrigued by the focus of this new movie. There was a young woman with a droid, an emotional stormtrooper, and a cute pilot. None of them were frozen in carbonite, so this new Star Wars seemed safe. All these things peaked my interest, but nothing held my attention like the man who’s back was turned to the camera as he gazed out of a window, a red beam flashing by. This same man, in the next scene, masked. All while a distorted voice uttered the words:

“Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started.”

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And suddenly I had to know what Darth Vader had started. What needed to be finished? I abandoned my fears. All that mattered what this man in a mask. Immediately I made my way to my university library and rented both the original and prequel trilogies.

Next, came a dilemma. What order did I watch the films in? I settled on a flashback style that I’d read about on the internet: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, Return of the Jedi, and then the Phantom Menace. (I fell into the trap that the Phantom Menace wasn’t necessary. I have sense abandoned that notion.)

I watched every movie, one after the other. I remember almost falling asleep, exhaustion creeping in at random points, and fighting to stay awake. I needed to experience Star Wars and experience it I did. My binge-watching session ended with a two-day headache and a passion for Star Wars.

Fast forward to opening weekend of The Force Awakens. I remember sitting in the theater, eagerly anticipating the film. Sure, I’d watched the other six movies, but they were on a laptop screen and this was in a theater! I’ll admit my emotions welled as the title card flashed across the screen, transitioning to the crawl, and the fanfare filled the room.

This was Star Wars! My love has only grown since then. My love for the prequels and Anakin Skywalker helped me find the Clone Wars animated series, which led me to Rebels. Podcasts like Fangirls Going Rogue introduced me to Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars and Unmistakably Star Wars introduced me to Delilah Dawson's Phasma.

My world was opening to new Star Wars content and my love of the saga was growing with it. With new movies, comics, and television series my love only grows more.