The first Star Wars movie I watched was return of the Jedi. It was at my aunt’s house, it was after our family’s Christmas celebration and almost everyone had gone home except the hardcore mahjong playing family members, a group which my parents were devout members. Most of the younger crew had left, so it was me, my siblings and my cousin, Ken. He was a big Star Wars fan, and he had been watching the movies all night and had just started watching RotJ when I joined him on the couch. It was at the point where Luke was being forced to jump into the Pit of Sarlacc, and instead, he grabs the plank, flips up, catches his lightsabre and begins kicking ass. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.
I had no clue who Leia or Han were, why there was a brown hairy person walking around, or what was the deal with the guy with asthma, but I remember enjoying the whole experience. I ended up getting my own copy of RotJ, and I watched it every morning before school. When I found out that there were two more movies, I was happy beyond belief.
Someone asked me why I like Star Wars so much, and I’m not entirely sure what’s so great about the movies themselves, to be honest. Empire was one of the first movies that had the shock factor, and also the sense that the bad guys “won”. I loved the Jedi mythology, and especially, at the time, the idea that maybe I could be an undiscovered Jedi. There have been occasions where I’ve felt something guide me to do something that I couldn’t explain, but worked out for me, or I’ve convinced someone to do something that it made no sense for them to do. I’m pretty sure I’m not a Jedi though.
Star Wars was my first foray into sci-fi, which would go on to dominate my reading choices in my teen years. The idea of being able to travel to new places was something I never wanted to do, because I was too afraid, but I enjoyed reading about and watching others do it. I think Asimov was also the first author who made me stop and think after reading a story, and even now, many of his stories have shaped the way that I am. Even though I’m human (at least I think so, I’ve never taken the replicant test), his laws of robotics played a big part in my moral beliefs.
The community around Star Wars has also been incredible for me. Joining uni and finding such a large group of like-minded people made those years of my life so comforting. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t some weirdo who liked reading strange stories and watching bizarre movies. There were people who had seen the things I had seen, and they had so many suggestions for what else I should watch and read, including introducing me to Terry Pratchett.