How Obsessed Are You with Star Wars?

Not at all.

Seriously? Here I am, running a Star Wars reference blog, ironically wearing my Star Wars t-shirt at the time, with my A New Hope poster handbag three feet from my left sitting on top of Ben Burtt’s The Sounds of Star Wars, my lightsaber on the wall at eye level, the original trilogy DVDs on the shelf within arm’s reach — the only DVDs not packed with the rest of my belongings in the garage — my Star Wars teddy bear and miniature Obi-Wan figurine close by, stack of 1976-1988 first edition Star Wars books sitting with The Star Wars Vault not packed because I can’t find a suitable box to put them in safely, and my copy of Obsessed With Star Wars with its rubber buttons well-worn, I’m telling you I’m not obsessed? I have ten boxes of Star Wars stuff in the garage, board games, VHS and DVD versions of every movie from every year . . . and I’m not obsessed?

swspinIf I look at people who are obsessed with Star Wars, I see I have very little in common with them.  They go for anything with the label stamped on it; they have an insatiable appetite for more stuff stamped with those special golden letters, craving film after film after film, forever struggling to fill themselves with more Star Wars even when it makes them sick — i.e., when they go around whining and complaining over how much the films suck. They don’t care if Chewbacca gets slaughtered, or if the entirety of Leia’s offspring all become evil because it’ll be sooo exciting, regardless of plot, characterization, or faithfulness to the original storytelling framework. They don’t care if 50 Star Wars films get made. Actually, they crave it, and the more there is, the happier they are. They stock up toys they won’t open and get into every video game. Because it’s exciting, because it’s fun. Obsessed means knowing every answer to all 2,500 questions in the trivia book — because this is what geeks do. I’m certainly a geek, and I know, we assimilate knowledge. If we’re interested in something, we consume every particle of data we can about it. Obsess means to be preoccupied with, and I know I’m not preoccupied with Star Wars the way people are, like the people who changed their names to Obi-Wan Kenobi or who have Star Wars-themed weddings, or the people who put down “Jedi” as their religious affiliation on a serious government census. And so many of them, I’m astonished to discover, haven’t even watched it recently, or will say things like, “It’s been years since I did a marathon.”

Hanging at Wal Mart with my best friend?
Hanging at Wal Mart with my best friend?

I’m not obsessed — not preoccupied — I love Star Wars. This is why the scrapbook I started three years ago and had to put on hold because of grad school is called Star Wars: A Love Story, and is all about my journey. 1) An intense feeling of affection and care towards another person. 2) A deep or abiding liking for something. 3) A profound and caring attraction towards someone.

Years ago, someone asked me why I loved Star Wars and it completely distracted me for weeks. In fact, I’ve come back on the topic time and again. I think this is because I like things to be logical and explicable. If I can’t pin a reason on it, it distresses me. So I’ve put a lot of thought into how and why I feel about Star Wars. Since the question was “how,” today I focus on how: I love Star Wars like a best friend, I really do. I spend time with my buddy; I put the movies in and have them going back to back almost once a month. I like to watch movies about my friend, like Fanboys  or the Robot Chicken parodies. And I get upset and embarrassed on his behalf when he does really idiotic things like crank out crappy, canon-screwing new sequels with too old of actors directed by Lens Flare McGee. He’s always got my back with a quotation or an analogy or a pep talk (“You’ve just got to find your Death Star” — all three categories!), and I’m always there to cover for him with a logical canon or straightened out timeline. We’re always down to spend time together, have parties, or just hang out. He shares stories of the old days or we just chill with the classic story, or we play with toys or games. I’ll defend him to anyone, but definitely won’t excuse his bad choices.

Yes, that’s exactly how I feel about Star Wars, as if the entire canonical saga is a person that I like to hang out with and think about. Is that obsessed? Maybe it is. I’m still the person planning to make cake balls with candles just for myself to watch Return of the Jedi alone for its 30th birthday on Saturday.

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