As a former high school track coach, I know a few things about running relay races. One of the most critical aspects is passing the baton. Team members must be precise in their timing, be cautious when passing the baton to the next team member, and should run a few steps with the next team member as the baton is handed over. This helps ensure that the baton safely made the transition.
This idea first really hit me hard at Celebration IV in 2007. My boys were 7 and 5 at the time, and I was away from them for my first voluntary extended period. I saw kids all over the place with their parents, reveling in the sights and sounds of the convention. It wasn’t until I saw this little boy…
…that it hit me like a Wampa. I am part of the first generation of Star Wars fans! I am helping to pass the baton to the next generation! As I watched that little boy and took his picture, it brought forth some very powerful emotions for me. It was at that moment that I made it my goal and sacred mission to be sure to do everything I could to pass that baton.
My heart overflowed with every sight after that, witnessing child after child as they experienced the fun of the event, and seeing parent after parent “running” with them as they ensured that the baton of fandom would be passed to their hands. At that time, I could only hope that my boys would be willing to do the same for their children someday, and that as a family, we may all be able to experience the unique bonding that Star Wars provides.
I also felt it important to allow my kids to see me as an adult having fun with my fandom. I wanted them to witness the lifelong joy it can bring to be a Star Wars fan, or as a fan of anything for which you have a passion. There have been many, many “fangirl nights” at my house, and at the abodes of my comrades in arms.
One of my favorite memories of passing the baton is when my Padawans were involved in helping host a Star Wars-themed baby shower for one of my best friends. The boys took great pride in making sure the new baby was going to be greeted in prime Star Wars fashion. I truly believe that in their own way, they were passing the baton as well! That “baby” is now going into first grade, and is indeed a Star Wars fangirl in the making!
With the new era that Star Wars is entering, I think it will be easier than ever for my kids, and the other kids of this generation, to pass that baton.
That being said, I must admit, when the Disney buyout/takeover happened, my initial reaction was: “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”
I LIKED that Indie, mysterious, almost “in the know” kind of feeling that being a Star Wars fan had (many of you know what I mean…)! After all, my boys were nursed on the Star Wars legacy, fed its legends and taught its ways in a very particular fashion. We watched the movies in a certain order and we reveled in the treasures of the much-elusive merchandise and hard-to-find trinkets, toys and memorabilia. It was very much a quest – and not an easy one – for me as a mom to be able to pass that on to my kids. I actually liked that challenge!
Obviously, I have more than warmed up to the idea of this new era, and of course I now realize that this is the BEST thing that could have ever happened to Star Wars. We have a new, bright shiny baton!
Star Wars is entering into a new, golden age. With the evolution of all that has been, we are now graced with a very exciting time right now, and in the indefinite future as well.
I know we are all excited about the new movies, Rebels, new comics, new canon and new books on the horizon. There are so many ways to be connected with everything Star Wars!
This newest era of the Star Wars legacy is in the hands of those of us who have been with it from the beginning, and through all the changes the franchise has endured thus far. We hold the baton and all it stands for. It is our solemn duty to safely transfer that legacy to the next generation. Star Wars will always live because of the connections we all feel, its traditions, and the lessons we can all learn and share, no matter how old or young we are.
I firmly believe that the baton will transition with pride, care and integrity…for generations to come. Pass it with pride, my friends!
Star Wars really IS forever!
As always, comments and questions are always welcome!
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