I’m Ange and ever since I saw Star Wars episode IV, which at that time back in 1977 – 1978, it was not titled A New Hope, I must admit I’ve been a bit of a Star Wars freak ever since. Well at least according to my family and friends I may be leaning slightly that way. As for me, I can’t see what they might possibly be meaning. LOL.
Star Wars, as strange as it sounds, has had quite an influence on me over the years. As a young girl with stars in her eyes I was already dreaming of the possibilities of life in outer space. I always did love a good science fiction tale, but add in a western feel, swash buckling heroes, an evil lord of darkness, a princess to be rescued, aliens, some comical characters, a bit of a romance, and some magical energy wielding knights and I was sold.
How Did Star Wars Become So Influential To Me?
It all started with a school excursion to a lovely historical property called Dromkeen in Riddle’s Creek, Victoria, Australia, that was well known as a literary museum and book store. It was 1978 and my school visited Dromkeen Homestead, which housed a huge collection of books, particularly children’s books. There was a book shop there and I had been given some spending money. Instead of buying lollies or other food, I bought my very first book.
That book changed my life. I had already read Tolkien’s, The Hobbit and another book called The Wierdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner, so was familiar with the concept of the story line of good versus a Lord of Evil of some kind, which made me hunger for more stories of similar calibre. The sci-fi element was something that was only really just starting to take off at that stage and I was fascinated by all things science fiction. I was around 13 years old in my first year of high school and that book that drew me into it’s story with a fierce power, was Star Wars. That book awoke in me the immense passion I have for books to this very day and I will be forever grateful to the world of books that have opened up such adventure and imagination for me.
I read it from cover to cover, jotting all of the words I did not know the definition of down in a notebook and looking up their meanings in the dictionary. I would then write down the meaning so that if I came across that word again, I could apply the definition that I had found out to the sentence and understand it. I was so excited by the story, or saga as they referred to it as, that I insisted that I read it to my little sister once she was old enough, but I wouldn’t let her read it herself, I had to read it to her. I found myself reading it over and over. I was lucky to have pictures from the movie in my book, even though I had not seen the movie at this time. Being 13, I dreamed of Luke Skywalker, my hero, and would stare at his picture in the book many times, day dreaming of adventures in the stars. I vowed to find a Luke Skywalker type of man to marry when I grew up. (Still looking mind you, I guess fictional characters are just that, fiction!). Ah, but I could dream at least, even if the reality was not to be.
A Fantasy World Becomes a Reality, Star Wars Brought To Life
I’ll always remember the night my father decided to take us all to the drive-in movies. I couldn’t believe that I was about to see Star Wars, live in action, on the big screen. Well, that just cemented the whole experience into a much more tangible sense where I could lose myself even further into the world of Star Wars.
There we were, all piled in a station wagon at the drive-in. Parked with our snacks at hand, the speaker sitting in my father’s window (that was before you could attach it to your aerial and have it come through the radio), waiting with such excitement for the movie to start. I can still remember the opening music, how you could feel it, and the opening screen roll telling the story up to the starting point. It wasn’t just words to me, it was an emotion, following the scroll and reading every word of it I just glowed. Even now, when we watch it, I started a thing where I would read the start out loud to everyone, and put such sentiment and passion behind it, I would get the people watching it with me excited. Funnily enough, my sister watched it recently and told me it just wasn’t the same without my narrative. Back to the story. I sat there, eyes glued to the screen to watch my hero come to life and the story burn it’s way straight into my heart. It was now more than a book, it was a real live story, with real people playing the roles of my heroes, and that was the end of it for me. I was in love.
The Star Wars Expanded Universe Enters My World
Some years later, I found my way into the star wars expanded universe, or EU as it is often referred to, but I will tell that story in another article. My childhood all time favourite book and movie series suddenly did not end when the movie ended after Star Wars VI – Return of The Jedi, instead I discovered a whole new life among the stars with my favourite characters and heroes, and some new ones brought into the fold. It wasn’t over, it was a case of ‘but wait, there’s more’, and I couldn’t have been happier.
I am here to immortalise a part of Star Wars history that I fear might be lost due to the acquisition of the Star Wars name by Disney. I am waiting to see what Disney do with the franchise and my hope is that it will continue on in it’s glory. It’s my understanding that the new movies will mark a change in the historical expanded universe story lines, but I want to introduce you to them anyway. If they are lost due to the changes that are taking place, it would be a real shame for the authors and fans who have grown to adore this part of the Star Wars universe. If you are unaware of the existence of this entire history, then you will have missed out on some of the best stories that may never make their way into the new era and canons of the Star Wars story. Allow me to share my attachment and love for these books so that you too may know of them and perhaps choose to buy them and read them regardless of whether they belong to the new canon or not.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, please get in touch in the comments below.