“You can’t stop the change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.”
—-Shmi Skywalker, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
“Estuary is blessed but scary. Your heart’s about to palpitate, and I’m not about to hesitate.”
—-Red Hot Chili Peppers
Estuary. That part of a river on the precipice of a larger, more powerful body of water.
Remember way back to 1999, the beginning of the first “new era” of Star Wars? After 16 years, we were all excited to see our favorite saga back on the big screen with a new film, but so much had changed in the world.
In the time between the releases of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, Sally Ride became the first woman in space, President Ronald Reagan won reelection, the Live Aid concert raised over $70 million for famine relief in Africa, the first version of Windows operating system was released, the Challenger space shuttle exploded before our eyes, President George HW Bush was elected and served 4 years, the Berlin Wall came down, Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Gulf War, the World Wide Web was born, President William Jefferson Clinton was elected to his first and second terms, the first World Trade Center bombing, Waco, OJ Simpson, the rise of AIDS, the Oklahoma City bombing, Monica Lewinsky, Google began. Did you realize that all of these things had happened in that time, and yet Facebook, Twitter, and other common social media did not yet exist? We lived in a such a different world then.
Star Wars brought back the familiar at a time when so much seemed unfamiliar. Familiar yet different. Many feel that way about Star Wars now, that it’s an unknown, nothing like what we fell in love with so long ago. No longer comfortable or agreeably predictable. Stand alone movies? Dark, heavy plot lines? Well-loved characters dying, replaced, it seems, by young, less substantial actors? Directors with very different visions from that of the Maker, George Lucas? And now a film about to debut that tells another backstory of a couple of much-loved characters?
You can’t stop the change.
You can’t stop the change.
You can’t stop the change.
I stand in that estuary, at the precipice, about to watch my youngest daughter graduate from high school, soon to watch the first of my five children get married, about to be “unemployed” as a school volunteer for the first time in 28 years, almost my entire adult life, with no going back, my children grown. This time it’s permanent. I’ve been nervous, scared even, about this new phase I’m entering. How will I handle this next step in my life, I’ve wondered, the empty nest, the ability to pursue some of my own dreams in ways I’ve never before had time for? It took Star Wars to turn on the lightbulb. Once again.
Recently, and for the very first time since the announcement of the demise of the Star Wars Hyperspace blogosphere in 2011, I saw a Facebook reference to the old days, to the heyday of the blogs, and I didn’t feel badly or wistful, didn’t wish I could go back. I smiled. I remembered. And I realized that I only want to go forward in life and with Star Wars. I like the direction the saga and its current makers have taken, love the newest films and characters, and am ready for some light-hearted change as we get to know the young Han Solo. Perhaps I should be embarrassed that it’s taken me so long to finally feel this way, to finally be over the old and ready for the new. I’m an old dog. It’s taken me longer to learn new tricks than it may have taken some. But now that I’m here, you’re right, Shmi! You go, Rey! And Han, you scoundrel? Your fandom following is a Force to be reckoned with.
I must throw a shout out to and say that I’m inspired by Coffee With Kenobi’s co-founder, Dan Z. You know him, the one who was just asked to attend the Solo premiere in LA, to hob knob with the Maker himself. And the new makers, the ones whose influences and talents are taking the galaxy far, far away to new and exciting places while fleshing out and giving reverence to the old. At the time of blogosphere’s demise, did Dan know, truly know, that one day he’d end up along the red carpet as a representative of a popular Star Wars podcast that he co-created? I’m thinking “no,” though I know that he dreamed it. Hoped it. Wanted to have a voice. He’s told me so. Wow. What a wonderful thing to have a friend who has recognized a dream and who continues to work on it.
There are so many possibilities in life if only we leave ourselves open to them, if only we leave ourselves open to change.
You may be seeing more of me around these parts soon. I have a whole lot of energy that needs an outlet, and Star Wars has always been there for me, been an inspiration in ways I didn’t even realize, for a very, very long time. Through this fandom, I continue to learn new things about myself and to make meaningful realizations and connections. Reflect on the old and embrace the new.
I’m ready. Are you?
I am always happy to discuss Star Wars, particularly the sappier side. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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