Courtesy: Disney/LucasFilm

Cruz’n the Borderland: A Long Time Ago…

I,  for one, am extremely excited for the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens.  Its been a few years since we heard Disney buying Lucasfilms, and in essence turning the whole universe on it’s ear.  No more “Expanded Universe.” No more backstories that were inconsistent to the actually movie timeline.

This basically means that the story that began “A long time ago…In a galaxy far, far away…”  will live on forever!

I remember having a discussion a few years back with a co-worker about how – in theory –  someone could REMAKE and *gasp* REBOOT Star Wars.  But now with the mouse having his white gloved-hand in this, the stories we know and love will continue!

I will say this…I’ve been a life long fan of the movies since 1977.  I may have complained about how Lucas had done things in the past (Jedi Rocks…really?) But  I was STILL a fan.  I was there from the beginning.  And I can even admit,  as a fan, I even enjoyed the first 3 movies!  We needed to have it. The backstory behind Vader needed to be told.  We had a clue as to how he turned, but we WANTED to see it actually happen.

Anyone who claims the first movies suck, isn’t a fan. There…I said it.  Deal with it.   Yes, even Jar Jar.  We needed him.   He was the catalyst of the start of the Galactic Empire, so I’m ok with him being…a doofus of sorts.  I’m not one of those fair-weather band-wagon jumping “fans.”   I was there.  I’ve been a fan from the beginning.

I was there opening day…FOR ALL 6 MOVIES!  I was a fan at 6 years old,  I waited for the next issue of  Bantha Tracks to get the latest news and rumors.  I was a fan when the Holiday special came out on CBS. (I even have it on bootleg dvd!)  I was there!

How many Christmases were spent looking thru the Sears catalog, wanting the new and latest figures and vehicles?  Or how excited I was to finally get that Millennium Falcon that year.

I was there, in the toy isles at every store my mom took me to (Pre-Toys R Us, by the way!)  looking for the newest figures.   And STILL do!  Ask the wife, some habits die hard!

Oh, how I remember that smell of opening the plastic as you slowly opened the clear bubble so as not to damage the packaging so you could almost put them back in…!  I clipped proof of purchases, and sent them away for the exclusive action figures!

And was disappointed when I had to wait longer for Boba Fett to arrive because they had to modify the rocket-firing mechanism on his back cause some kid shot it in his mouth and chocked and died.  (Hand to God, that’s what happened.  Of course, this was before the internet when we could check and verify if that actually DID happen…so it MUST be true!)

I was a fan in the mid-80’s when there was NO Star Wars, and when being called a geek was kinda a bad thing!  I was  there.
In essence, I put in the work for this new generation of fans.   I took the pops and shots that came with being a lifelong fan.

I was there in 1999, waiting outside Toys R Us, to get the new line of figures. HECK, I was in line a few months  ago, same store, same story! Waiting for The Force Awakens toys to come out.   I was a fan of Boba Fett before we knew anything about him, aside from he took Han Solo to Jabba. Flash forward to me in my 40’s with a Boba Fett tattoo!

I was there when Darth Vader made an appearance at Bassett Center (at the Popular)  and I begged my grandmother to take me, all so I could freak the hell out.  In fairness, I did manage to mutter “I really like your movies…”   IDIOT!   I had a face to face meeting with the Dark Lord of the Sith, a chance to find out all the secrets of the Galactic Empire and maybe, if I asked nicely,  he would tell me if he really was Luke’s father.  And that’s the best I could do….??   *shakes head at 9 year old self*    But…I was there!

I even had a member of the 501st attend my wedding in full Stormtrooper armor!!   Ok, well, maybe not in armor but he was there.  (You still owe me one tho, Dominate!)

I was there when EVERY FORM of the movie was released on VHS and now dvd. And now,  even my 15 year-old son is ready for the new movies…he, too is a  fan.  The wife has simply become a fan via osmosis!

It’s not unusual to find me in a Star Wars t-shirt on any given day.  The soundtracks to the movies are on my iPod.  Some friend will always share some sort of post about Star Wars on Facebook at least once a day, and sometimes it’s the same post a few days in a row!  I was there!

I was there, when a friend brought me the ACTUAL trailer the ran in the theater of EPISODE 1, and hand delivered it to me…(yup, still got it!)   Just the other day, I struck up a conversation with an employee at Barnes and Noble who was considerably much younger than I, about the new movies.

And the end of our conversation, as we were parting ways, she says, “hey, thanks for being a Star Wars fan.”    Yes,  I am a fan…have BEEN a fan.  And  I will be there when the movie comes out, sitting with my now 15 year-old son.

I will be there ..always, because *wait for it*…The Force Will Be With You…Always…

*cue The John Williams music*