I had made my peace with not being able to attend Celebration IV – I really had. It was going to just be too much time and money and hassle, and Celebration III was such a fantastic time that I thought this one, just two years later, wouldn’t match up. Then a few days ago, all the posts started showing up in the Star Wars forums I read: "Heading out the door!" "I’ll be at the airport in an hour!" "See you tonight!"
And I was really bummed. Then I went up to WKSU early Thursday morning and recorded an adaptation of the first entry in my "Remembering Star Wars" series, and I felt a little better. Friday morning, the official 30th anniversary of the release date, when I heard them air it, I was just too geeked up to regret not being at C4. The commentary is still online here, and I’m really happy with the way it came out. (Lots and lots of credit to Renita, who’s produced my WKSU pieces and is heading out west to join the Marketplace crew.) But the coolest thing was driving to work and knowing that on this, the 30th birthday of Star Wars, I had a little part in the media coverage. Although it’s not included on the mp3, presumably because of copyright issues or something, right after the closing line of my essay, after just a heartbeat’s pause, the Star Wars main title theme kicked in, and it was a nerdtastic adrenaline rush hearing it in the car on I-77 northbound.
A few minutes later, NPR’s Morning Edition aired their own Star Wars 30th feature, mentioned it was Frank Oz‘s birthday, and then aired a piece about the opening of NASA’s shuttle launch simulator. (Marketplace jumped into the Star Wars arena, too, with this story.
So yeah, just reading the web coverage of the anniversary and hearing the radio bits and seeing stuff on TV has helped ease the sting of not making my first trip to L.A., and not being at the big Star Wars bash. It’s all reminding me how much fun it’s been growing up addicted to that universe.
Though you wouldn’t guess it from the dust lying around this blog, I’ve been writing my butt off lately. Seriously – it’s just been everyplace but here. Outside of work and a freelance piece, I’m behind the controls of another obsession piece, which I refer to in my head as "Every Star Wars Memory I’ve Ever Had."
Over the years, on message boards and forums and stuff,
I’ve written up short notes about being in elementary school and getting Star Wars toys, or
reminiscing about seeing Return of the Jedi on opening night in 1983,
or about how my best friend and I completely storyboarded something we called Episode VII: The Emperor.
And I started thinking about just how many Star Wars
memories I have, from the big obvious ones like seeing The Empire Strikes Back the first time to a three-or-four-line conversation in college that centered on an Obi-Wan Kenobi quote.
I also remembered that a few years back, part of a job
interview I had was an assignment to write something about myself. I had an hour, maybe, to work,
and that was the sole instruction. I didn’t sit long before I typed something like, "The funny thing is," John Booth recalled, "I don’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars," and it just went from there.
With the 30th anniversary of the first Star Wars movie being celebrated this year, I
thought it’d be the ideal time to have some fun with all this stuff.
A couple months ago, then, I started filling a yellow
legal pad with notes and things to write about. Almost incomprehensible phrases like "Good Force/Bad Force" and "baseball dugout/Han/organs" and
"Upper Sandusky – library and Children’s Village Cloud City and Blue Snag."
And while the feedback I’m getting on the essays themselves is good, probably the
best part is hearing people say that I’ve reminded them of a person or a place
or a memory they hadn’t dug up in ages.
Happy 30th, Star Wars.