Some days it’s a struggle to find anything to say, and for anyone trying to make a living writing, this is pretty much hell. Today is definitely one of those days, so here comes a few hundred words of rambling.
I suppose today (April 7th, 2016) I should be writing about the newly released teaser for “Rogue One” (it looks fantastic btw) but that got me thinking about Star Wars in general, my childhood obsession with it and how much of my life has been influenced by this fictional universe.
You can watch the teaser trailer on YouTube here:
I wish I could say it’s been nothing but good, but my lack of social skills, coupled with being overweight, made me a big target for school bullying. So being a Star Wars nerd on top of all that just made things even worse.
Oh I want to read one of the expanded universe books? Well that means sitting under a tree by myself during recess and lunch, hoping the popular kids and cliques just ignore me. Most days it worked, but not always. Book reports and art projects were always terrifying though.
And even at home, my obsession with Star Wars earned me the ire and ridicule of my brother and sister. In some ways this was because I was the youngest of three, and an easy target. Looking back I can see that a lot of it was also mis-directed anger towards my mom; my brother and sister thought I was her “favorite” child, so whenever she bought me a Star Wars toy/action figure, I got their guilt and resentment in full force.
There was a brief reprieve where it was “cool” to be a Star Wars nerd for the “Special Edition” theatrical releases, and again for the prequels (even though they turned out so terrible) and one of the few memories I have of feeling like I fit in at all, was seeing episode 1 in theaters with a group of kids from school.
That was the last time I ever fit in anywhere; one afternoon of swinging plastic light-sabers around while waiting in line for the movie, then excitedly talking about it as we walked to a neighboring outlet mall afterwards.
By the time episodes 2 and 3 were released, I was too far gone; already overwhelmed by depression and self harm that set in full force with the onset of puberty.
In a lot of ways, my childhood made me ashamed of being a Star Wars fan; ashamed of being a “nerd” at all for a long time. In some ways that continues today; I never found success through my nerdiness, so is it really worth celebrating or embracing? Maybe the guilt and resentment from my siblings wasn’t misplaced? Some days it’s hard to really know.
Anyway, back to “Rogue One” before I ramble even longer and just delete this post.
I’m intrigued and impressed with the tone and imagery conveyed in the teaser already. I’m especially thrilled to get little slivers of story that expand on the original trilogy, and it will be a joy to see familiar set pieces (e.g. The Death Star) on a big screen again. It gives me hope that maybe the next off-cycle/side movie could be inspired by the “Shadows of the Empire” story from the expanded universe. I’m also happy to see another strong female character, even though I don’t think it was necessary with how well written Rey was in “The Force Awakens” (assuming of course that she continues to be so strong, independent, and well grounded in episodes 8 and 9.) I can’t help but feel like Disney has taken to heart a quote from Joss Whedon years ago; when asked why he kept writing such strong female characters, he replied (paraphrasing) “because you keep asking me this question.”