Introducing: Challenge Thursdays

Returning out of the silence. I know the silence will not change because traffic is related to posting frequency. My motivation has just been absolutely beached, becalmed, scuppered, and various other sailing metaphors that I’m using for no obvious reason. But I’d like to inject some fresh life into SWL, because I am proud of and pleased with this blog, and I know I can’t do that just by tediously making myself review books I inevitably dislike (reviewing is actually not near and dear to my heart, though it is a valuable and librarian-y service), and I also just can’t find enough fun stuff to talk about on a weekly basis, try as I might. I want people to ask me questions, but how do you know I’m here if I don’t update?

So what I would like to do is get some pep in my step with a 30-day challenge. Not just any 30-day challenge, no, but a 30-day challenge on a non-specific fandom (original here), which I will make into Thirty Weeks About My Love of Star Wars. Why Thursday? Mostly because it’s my favorite day of the week, and posting on a daily basis is too much for this blog. (I already have a blog where I post on every weekday, Hundredaire Socialite.)

In that vein, allow me to begin with my first topic: My First encounter With Star Wars.

It was 1997, weeks before the announcement of the cloning of Dolly the Sheep and Ireland made divorce legal. It was a simpler time; we didn’t even have internet. We still used a VCR and a TV the size of a small pony. Unbeknownst to me, George Lucas was testing the waters for interest in a new Star Wars film, upgrading and releasing the originals on their 20th anniversary. Mom bought this unassuming blue and black, Vader-faced VHS tape and we sat down for an evening of pizza and a movie on an unlikely Wednesday. I had spent the day making miniature snowmen and painting them with food coloring in water. The pizza was pepperoni, the soft drink probably Sprite. I was thinking more about my pizza than the start of the movie, its revolutionary scrolling text, missing front titles, and spaceship flyover making absolutely no impression on my 11-year-old brain.

Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor! We'll be destroyed for sure! This is madness!
Did you hear that? They shut down the main reactor! We’ll be destroyed for sure! This is madness!

This scene is forever associated with pizza in my mind. Ask Pavlov about that one. I knew bits and pieces about Star Wars because my brothers had seen it in the theater, and my sister and I even had an incongruous rebel pilot action figure mixed in with our Fisher Price Adventure People toys. She named him Luke based on her limited knowledge of the film our older brother liked, and told me that Luke “had a tall yellow robot that talked all the time and a little blue one that never talked.” (I also have the vaguest memory of seeing a clip of ROTJ on a TV in a hotel room, and Corey drawing cartoonized  versions of the Emperor Force-blasting Luke in the back of my sister’s sketchbook.) I realized as the movie went on what I was seeing, but it did not make any more of a dent than any of the many other movies we brought home to watch over pizza.

Somehow, though, I was interested enough that Mom knew to call me for the Rosie O’Donnel and Oprah episodes featuring Star Wars actors and characters, and I saw the Han-in-carbonite clip about a week before ever seeing ESB. When I saw ROTJ, I knew my life had changed forever, and I enthused in chaotic red ink all over my diary, filling in every square inch on that day’s page, describing to the uninterested paper who all the characters were and how much I loved them.

And that’s when I encountered Star Wars. Next week, I go into detail about the moment that made me love the series.


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