We would like to thank all of the collectors and fans that submitted entries for this contest. It was very hard to select just four winners out of the pool of amazing stories. We hope that all of you had fun . Congratulations to all the winners ! Here are their stories below .
For First place we have Jordan M.
“It’s no secret that I’m a mega-Star Wars nerd. I’ve got a massive collection that takes up a house, some storage units, and is constantly growing. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was 5 years old, and it’s probably never going to stop. Sure a lot has changed with Star Wars over the years, with the changes in the special editions to the prequels, and now the Clone Wars TV show (though I’ll stick my focus of this article to the Original Trilogy). Sadly, these adjustments have turned off quite a few fans, but Star Wars is still going strong to me.
I’m going to be real honest here, nothing frustrates me (film-wise) quite as much when I hear “George Lucas raped my childhood” or “Star Wars died a long time ago”. Quite simply, it’s ignorant and makes little sense. Star Wars WAS my childhood. It filled my imagination and is the primary reason for my going into the film industry. None of the changes Lucas made to the original Star Wars trilogy has taken that away. I’m sorry, did Lucas go back in time and make changes to the film as we know it before it’s release? No? Then how in the hell did he ‘rape’ your childhood. It’s such a silly statement, that comes off more as whiny than anything else.
I’m not arguing that all of the changes he made in the special editions are good. Some of them really should have just been left alone. Even so, they don’t bother me in the least, and I still watch them on a regular basis. Here’s why: everytime he makes a change, it makes the movies feel “fresh” again.
Let’s face it, after two decades of watching the same movies over and over again (that’s how long it’s been for me) even great films aren’t as thrilling to watch. Sure, I still got enjoyment out of it, but it was so familiar that a lot of the times I did other things while having it play in the background. Yet, when the special editions released and changes were made, I watched the films with an attention I hadn’t given it in years.
I paid more attention to each scene, eager to catch any new details. You know what I discovered? Suddenly, it was like watching the films brand new all over again. Like re-reading a book that I hadn’t picked up in a while, some of the minor details had been forgotten and I found immense joy in re-discovering them. Hell, even scenes that he hadn’t altered or changed felt fresh and new to me, because I was looking at them with a clean palate; something I had not been able to do in a long time.
This was the same feeling I had each time there was a new change to the series (with the DVD, and subsequent blu-ray releases of the film). So I can’t be mad at Lucas, I can’t claim that he destroyed something I love, because in truth, he managed to give me back something I thought was gone; the ability to watch Star Wars as if it were new again. This is even better since I can now share that experience with my own son.
The fact of the matter is that Star Wars was very influential for everyone and still remains that way today. A new generation of kids are just now getting into it and having those same wonderful childhood experiences that us older fans did back in the day. Is it right for us to condemn the franchise then as it’s evolved? The answer for me is ‘no’. Even if you were upset at the changes that have been made, it was still something you enjoyed when you were younger. Nothing about that has changed, and those memories can always be with you. Let’s not try and spoil it for the next generation of nerds.
After all these years, I still enjoy sitting down and hearing John William’s score blare out through the speakers. Changes or not, it’s makes me content and brings back fond memories of my own childhood as I watch my son swing around a plastic Lightsaber making humming noises. There’s still magic as I hear Leia plead “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope”. It’s a sense of adventure that few films to this day can evoke within me. That’s the power of a good franchise, that’s made a few missteps along the way, yet can remain culturally relevant as time goes on.
For Second place we have A Meyer
“My favorite Star Wars memory is my very first. I was a young girl of 12 who loved all things sci-fi and horror. I knew Star Wars was coming to theaters as I had seen the trailers on our little black and white television, and I was begging to go the first day. My mom, being a tired, overworked, single mother, placed the burden of this task upon her then boyfriend, Michael. He gladly escorted me to the film as he was a huge sci-fi nerd and was just as eager as I was to see the movie.
We saw it at the Parkway Theater in Las Vegas, a three screen house with a huge main auditorium where Star Wars was being shown. As we arrived, I saw the vast number of people already waiting for the next showing (it opened earlier that same day, and we decided to see the 7:00 p.m.). I was concerned we wouldn’t get a seat, but Mike assured me we would be fine. A 12 year old worries about these kinds of things, especially ones who love movies. We got our tickets and found good seats near the back but in the middle of the row. The theater was filled to capacity, with folks in line outside for the next show. I could actually feel energy from the crowd. I remember that was the first time I understood how a group of people with common interests could come together in pure excitement and infect others with that level of excitement.
When the movie started, a quick round of applause was followed by a deep silence. People wanted to be amazed, and there was not one of us who was disappointed. As the movie unfolded before me, I was absolutely taken away to another time and place. I had no idea that a film could make me feel that way and could expand not only my thoughts about life in general, but could remold the way I saw movies. I realized that magic could be created in the right hands. If the proper mix of writers, directors, actors and musicians came together, a miracle could occur on a screen. I loved movies already, but now I wanted to know how things were done in them. How did they make the ships look that way? How did they make them appear to be moving through space? How did the costumes function for the actors? Who orchestrated that amazing soundtrack? I set out to learn all I could about Star Wars and absorbed anything in print I could find. I haunted magazine racks and begged my mom to buy me anything with a Star Wars article. The icing for my cake was at Sears. My dad and I were there to shop for school clothes, and I walked by their home section. That was where I spotted it. A Darth Vader mug. It was a huge, beautiful piece of ceramic. I just stared at it. My father knew of my love of the movie because I’d made him see it with me three more times. I got an advance on my allowance and bought it on the spot.
To this day, I point to Star Wars as the reason I look at movies the way I do. I watch them differently, listen to the film scores more closely, study the performances and dissect them later in my head. I know, I know. Go ahead, call me a film-nerd. I agree. Star Wars made me want to get into special effects, but I could never afford to get the proper schooling. I don’t regret my choice of career, but I still keep on top of techniques for practical effects and have used them to great success around Halloween, a favorite holiday around my home. There are plenty of great movies out there, but generally only one will touch you in a way that influences the way you watch movies for the rest of your life. That is what Star Wars did for me. ”
For Third place we have Jack G
“ As a child I had three parents my mother, father, and the Star Wars trilogy on VHS. I was born in 1995 (so i never got to nerd out and see the originals on the big screen)… one of my childhood memories is the Christmas of 99. Before Star Wars i was a kid that would watch Lion King and Toy Story on repeat ask my brother or sister who are ten and nine years older then me and still blame me for their hatred of those movies. I saw the first Star Wars with my parents in our living room. When the Falcon takes off for the first time out of the Mos Eisley spaceport i was hooked. According to my parents I would initiate conversations with grown men about Wookies and Ewoks at auctions my grandma would take me to. I was a diehard at the age of 3. When Christmas came around that year Star Wars was the main theme, i would walk down stairs in amazement my mind filled with mystery and wonder. There was so many cool presents i was instantly drawn to all of the vibrant colors. There was this one box, it was a large cardboard package that had no wrapping paper so naturally a kid wouldn’t be attracted to that first and that was the last gift i opened. When i took the tape off that gift i did not expect that that gift would have such an impact on my life. The first thing i saw was the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy the Millennium Falcon, my eyes lit i instantly I picked it up and under the Falcon an array of action figures from the big three, to Obi-Wan, to Vader… and even more secondary characters, guys like Bib Fortuna to Dengar you name it. My brothers friend from down the road had given them to me, this ultimate collection of every Star Wars figure i could think of. It was the best gift to this day i have ever received, i added to my collection and created stories through the years. I created so many “set-ups” as i called them or stories… i had so much fun. Today i am currently studying film, Star Wars has always been my inspiration for my creativity and it will continue to be. About six or seven years ago i passed on my collection to my cousin i felt like Obi-Wan handing this tool of great power to Luke for great adventures to come. Not as clumsy or random as a video game but an elegant form of entertainment for a more civilized age.”
For Fourth place we have Jeff V.
“I was born in the summer of 1977, so Star Wars has been with me all my life. My first exposure to Star Wars was actually in winter 1980. I got a Stormtrooper and Chewbacca action figures from my Grandma for Hanukkah. I had no idea what they were, other than they looked cool. My initial impression was a little off. I actually thought Chewbacca was an evil monkey and Stormtrooper was a good guy robot. I liked the figures so much, my parents went out and bought me some more. My family wasn’t wealthy, so I never got any vehicles or playsets, but I treasured my figures more than anything. I got back into collecting, like many did in 1995 when the POTF2 line came out, and have never stopped. I will always treasure Star Wars collecting, and the three original films will live in my heart forever. ”