Ten words and a handful of punctuation that can give me goosebumps every time I see it. For many, Star Wars is a uniting force. Go to any convention, celebration, or weekend dedicated to Star Wars and the variety of people of different ages, races, and backgrounds is staggering. Old and young, this franchise means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Whether a casual movie watcher, an avid reader, or a hard core toy collector, Star Wars has captured the minds of fans for generations, and with new content being produced at an increasingly rapid pace, there are no signs of stopping.
Welcome to The Sarlacc Pit, where we will be slowly digesting Star Wars information for over a thousand years. I regularly have intense discussions and debates with my friends and loved ones about this franchise (sometimes this just involves me talking for a long time as the other person feigns interest), and with the recent purchase of LucasArts by Disney and the subsequent changing of what is and is not considered Star Wars canon, I wanted to be able to have some way to put my ideas about current Star Wars canon out there for others to take advantage of. The purpose of this blog will be for me to put what I know about Star Wars into writing and share it with you nerf herders and moof-milkers. Specifically, I will focus on summarizing and discussing movies, TV shows, comic book arcs, novels, characters, ideas, and technologies that are considered Canon by LucasArts and Disney.
As many of you may know, this would mean that I am disregarding the massive amount of Star Wars content currently known as “Legends.” Legends is the title given to any Star Wars content including TV shows, novels, comics, and video games that were once considered canon by LucasArts, but once Disney took over, are now no longer considered as such. What is currently considered by LucasArts to be canon is: The main Star Wars movies, The Star Wars Clone Wars TV movie and TV series (currently on Netflix), Darth Maul – Son of Dathomir (comic arc released by Dark Horse comics in May 2014), and any content (movies, TV shows, comics, novels, etc.) released after April 25, 2014. Due to the sheer amount of content covered under the banner of “Legends,” I did not get into expanded Star Wars content until the new Canon was created. However, while the bulk of these posts will be about Canon content, there are interesting Legends ideas that may make their way into a post or two, and I’m considering allowing guest writers to do segments where they discuss Legends content and I discuss how it may impact the current Canon. I plan on posting regularly on Mondays, and I will say what I plan to discuss the following week at the end of each post. That way, if you are interested in the content, then you will have a week to check it out before getting my discussion on it. MY DISCUSSIONS WILL PROBABLY BE SPOILER-HEAVY, so if I am discussing content you have not viewed then you may want to skip a week and come back after you have had a chance to read the material. Or, you can use this blog as a way to learn about background and Star Wars events that you may not know about, without making the financial investment of buying every book/comic that’s out there. I will take the financial burden so you don’t have to.
As for this week, I want to talk about my first Star Wars experience, and how I got tangled up in this galaxy of rebellious princesses, heroic farm boys, and scruffy-looking nerf herders.
The year was 1997, I was five years old and my best friend had invited me to go see the release of the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi in theaters. I had not seen A New Hope or The Empire Strikes back, so I remember my dad, a Star Wars fan himself, explaining to me what I had missed was as he helped me get ready for the movie. He told me about Luke Skywalker and the Force, X-Wings and TIE fighters, and then he told me about Darth Vader. How Vader was one of the most powerful villains in the galaxy, and how Luke Skywalker, the bravest Rebel pilot and the last hope for peace in the galaxy, was his son. I remember being shocked. The bad guy is the hero’s dad? What kind of messed up movie is this? This moment, a parent telling their child about Star Wars, seems to be a common experience for many fans my age or younger. Even Walmart has cashed in on this experience with a recent commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSXNSdkFt4o). It’s an experience that binds us all.
Anyways, I remember going to the theater and watching a confident black-clad Jedi walk confidently into Jabba the Hutt’s palace. I remember watching a scantily-clad princess strangle a vile gangster slug. I remember watching an uppity golden droid assert divine authority over a tribe of teddy bears. I remember watching a cyborg sacrifice himself to save his son from the wrath of his master. I was hooked immediately. The aliens, the droids, the mysterious armor-clad bounty hunters. Star Wars is an amazing franchise as it can capture the imagination of a child, and yet has themes that resound with fans of all ages. The classic themes are almost Shakespearean, but the Starfighters and alien monsters are like something out of cartoons and video games. That year for my sixth birthday I got a box set of the original VHS tapes (theatrical release editions) and that was it. Flashlights became lightsabers and trashcans became astromechs. There was no turning back for me.
I’m a bit older now, but if anything my love of Star Wars has grown over the years. I look forward to discussing the intricacies of the Force, the corruption of the Galactic Senate, and societal influences of Salacious B. Crumb. As for next week, let’s start at the beginning. I will discuss the movie that started it all: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.