My childhood was forever changed the first time I saw Star Wars. I actually can’t even remember life before Star Wars since I have an older brother, seven years older, he was a HUGE Star Wars fan. My brother Danny had all the action figures and knew the lines to all the movies. Slowly though, his fandom started to disintegrate and he began to lose interest in the greatest science fiction epic ever told. Though, for me, that passion never died. Actually, in recent months my fandom has actually been relit with the recent release of the Marvel Comics Star Wars titles. At the moment I am reading Darth Vader and Star Wars. I’m waiting to pick up all of Princess Leia once it’s finished and I’m still on the fence about Kanan: The Last Padawan, but Cameron really loves it so I may be picking that up in the coming day, or bumming them off him.
When I think about Star Wars, I think about Darth Vader. For some reason, he has always been my favorite character. After all, if there were no Darth Vader, there would be no Star Wars. Since 1977, Star Wars has forever changed pop culture from film to comic books. It’s easy to say that everyone has been impacted by Star Wars in one way or another. I’m such a fan of the movies, my girlfriend hates watching them with me because I can quote the original trilogy line for line. As much as I love Revenge of The Sith (My favorite of the prequels) I only let myself watch it once a year, since I always end up crying when Obi Wan says “You were the chosen one! I loved you like a brother!” Tears, tears everywhere. With all that being said, in light of today, check out what Star Wars means to all of us here at Four Letter Nerd along with some of our friends who have written for us over the last year, and May the 4th be with you.
Cameron Clark: Star Wars has had a huge impact on who I am as a nerd. I have seen the movies more times than I can count, played the video games, gotten a tattoo of an X-wing, and even wrote my fifty page college thesis on Philosophical, Theological, and Mythological Themes in Star Wars. The original trilogy changed so many facets of pop culture that it’s hard to quantify, while the prequel trilogy made way for a whole new generation of Star Wars fans. I remember my dad taking me to see the re-release when I was about 11 years old and my fandom exploded. Now I get to share that fandom with my sons (one of them is still a baby so he doesn’t care all that much). My toddler usually gets frustrated when I first turn on Star Wars Rebels because it’s not one of “his shows,” but as soon as the opening music plays and the action starts, he is all in. I think that’s what it has become for me – not only something I enjoy, but something I can enjoy with my wife Paige, and our kids.
Stephen Andrew: “F**k Star Wars, I’m not into the stupid nerd shit. Losers. Kirk > Skywalker.”
That’s how Bill thinks I feel about Star Wars. In reality… That’s entirely accurate. I’M KIDDING. I will admit to being the 4LNer with the least amount of personal interest in Star Wars, but that doesn’t change the fact that my life, like most people’s, has been greatly impacted by Star Wars. I remember seeing the movies for the first time when the re-released them in theaters in the mid-90’s. Return of the Jedi has been my favorite ever since. There was just something about that cocky-ass attitude of Luke’s that resonated with me. He has this swagger about him in that movie that is just so… f**king cool. Then there was Han. How could you not like Han? He was such a badass. Around the time of the theatrical re-releases, Kellog’s had this promo on their cereals where you could get a free Stormtrooper Han action figure with so many proofs of purchase. I made my mom buy as many boxes of cereal as it took so that I could send in for that immediately. It took so long for it to get there that by the time it arrived I had forgotten about it and when I opened the small white box that it came addressed to me in I got crazy excited.
I even saw every one of the second trilogy films on opening night at midnight. All of them. I liked them. I didn’t LOVE them, but I liked them. Star Wars may not excite me like it does many other people, but it’s been a big part of my life that I can’t deny. I’m eager to see what J.J. Abrams does with Episode 7, and I trust Disney has mapped out a plan that will bring us thrilling new Star Wars movies that will please both new and old fans alike.
Cody Russell: I’ll never forget being 12 years old and going to see the 20th anniversary editions of the original trilogy in theaters. We had watched the Star Wars movies so many times at home with our dad, between this and Indiana Jones, our VCR (remember those?????) had to be hurting. The excitement of standing in line knowing I was about to see Darth Vader air choke some crew members on the big screen was overwhelming. People were in full costume, whipping around those (then new to market) light sabers, and the place was just teeming with fandom. Star Wars is not only iconic to popular culture, but is a part of almost every American’s childhood in some way or fashion. I can’t count how many times my brothers and I would reenact the powerful plot twisting scene of “Luke, I am your father!” If my brain was a hamster, it had definitely been in the microwave too long when I first saw that scene. Ultimately, Star Wars has a deeper meaning for me as well. It portrays the concept of life that everyone seems to chase, that we are all on a journey of a greater purpose. That we all have something deep within us that is meant for greater things, and how we choose to live our life can affect the way our world exists. Why do you think Ancestory.Com is a big thing now? because everyone’s trying to figure out if they have a Darth Vader as a father, or a great great great grand father or something down the line, duh! Seriously though, it portrays the message that past mistakes don’t have to control your future. I just love Star Wars, and I’m so glad that we get to see the next chapter this year! May the 4th be with you!
Jeff Merrick: We live in a time today when nerdy obsessions (comic book characters, fantasy, science fiction) are considered mainstream. This was not the case for me when I was growing up. I cared nothing for fantasy, comic books and most sci-fi (other than Batman: The Animated Series, because what preteen boy didn’t love Batman: The Animated Series), but I loved Start Wars. Star Wars was the first nerdy thing I cared about and was, in my opinion, the first mainstream nerd brand. All of my friends and I (much to the annoyance of those around us) could quote pages and pages of dialogue from the trendsetting trilogy set a long time ago in a galaxy far away. So for me, Star Wars was like a gateway drug (interesting comparison I came up with now that I read it again) that opened the way for my appreciation of other future elements of nerd culture that I would welcome into my life years later.
Jason Hill: I remember watching Episode IV: A New Hope on VHS with my dad. He would tell me about the time he waited two hours around the block to see this in theaters before putting the tape in the player. He had this mysticism in his eyes when he talked about it. I soon understood why. This was my first foray into space. I think I was six when I first watched Star Wars. This was before science taught me about what planets and asteroids were. I just remember seeing the huge ships and colorful landscapes and thinking “Wow, could this even be real?” The special effects mesmerized my brain before the cynicism set in. Now, there are CG effects that far surpass the ones Star Wars had, and I try to find the imperfections and tell people how it “doesn’t look real”. But Star Wars took me on a magical journey that I believed, and that is why it’s one of my favorites.
Austin Carter: Star Wars is like a door for me. It was the door that opened my eyes to different worlds, and a door that introduced me to the idea that there can be more to life than what we can see. Star Wars was my entrance into the world of fantasy and all the rewarding things it has to offer. Without Star Wars, I wouldn’t have developed the love for Music that I have, or the moral ideas and values that are present in our world. Star Wars has taught me a lot about myself, and many values I have to this day. Star Wars holds a special place in my heart, and is my favorite universe to reside in. I still look up to Obi-Wan Kenobi to this day, and can only hope to be as incredible as he is. I couldn’t even put it to words what it means to me.
Steven Boyd- ComicCollectorLive.com: STAR WARS is one of the most influential movie franchises of all time. I was only 4 when the first film came out, so STAR WARS reminds me of some of the best parts of my childhood (and as I read back over my list, kudos to STAR WARS for reinventing marketing): Christmas, Saturday morning cartoons and cereal, random trips to BURGER KING, read along books, those plastic BEN COOPER costumes you wear at Halloween, playing outside in the snow pretending I’m on Hoth, and most of all, a common bond with other people. To this day, you can walk up to someone you don’t know, talk about STAR WARS and the walls of unfamiliarity instantly come down. So for a mythology that spans universes and galaxies far, far away, STAR WARS has made our world a much smaller (and better) place to live in by bringing us closer…and that’s something politicians and world leaders can’t always do.
Be sure to get hyped for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens coming out this December!