Non-Existent Life Adventures

Brian Daley did an interview where he described his work on the Star Wars radio/NPR drama.  Has anyone heard those or at least know what I’m talking about (for more info: Star Wars radio drama)?  It’s on my “DO” list in terms of Star Wars knowledge.  There are excerpts of it in my Star Wars Vault, but I’m ashamed to say that it’s been so long since I listened to those CD’s, that I have no memory of it.

“‘I wanted Luke to be like a lot of science fiction fans,’ Daley said to Topps editor Bob Woods for a 1995 interview.  ‘He knows there’s something bigger out there, and that sometimes he doesn’t fit in.’  While the other youths call Luke “Wormie” – a nod to King Arthur’s nickname “Wart” in T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone – Luke ‘doesn’t accept their judgement.  He thinks maybe they’re the ones who are wrong.'”

luke twin sun sunset tatooine

That paragraph really struck a chord with me.  I feel like, as science fiction fans, we know and want to believe there is more out there so badly.  At least for myself, I feel a yearning to be part of something bigger, to be part of an adventure and feel like life isn’t really this.  By “this”, I mean…well…sometimes it’s boring.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve lived a blessed and wonderful life so far, but don’t you ever feel it in your bones?  That you know there’s a bigger world for you?

When we look at sci-fi fandom as a whole, we see that as fans, very often we have similar interests outside of sci-fi.  Many of us read fantasy novels (myself included); a lot of us dress up and do photo shoots to look like we were actually in Docking Bay 94 or a Death Star corridor; some of us dabble in writing our own novels to release our creativity.  We all have some underlying similarities that draw us to this genre and is it really that yearning to be part of something more?

My friend said to me yesterday, “Wow, you are living the American Dream!” as a compliment and I immediately balked.  Wait, no, I was thinking.  I don’t want to live the American Dream…I want to have adventures, like in Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.  I began thinking through my past 10 years: good college, job right after school, marriage, and bought a house.   This is as far as from an epic adventure as possible!  Wait!  Stop the world, I want to get on! If anything, I’m settling my roots even more firmly into cold Massachusetts soil.  I panicked a little bit when I realized that there was no adventure in my life or never has been.

But then I vacillate right back to the realization that my personality does match up closely with Bilbo Baggins.  I like things to be the same as they always were and I complain when someone ruffles the placement of my doilies.  When I watch Fellowship of the Ring and see Frodo and Sam sleeping on cold, hard, rocky ground, I think “Oh dear, that’s definitely not for me.  I love my warm bed.”  I have a good friend who is hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine (he’s a great writer – better than I am – and you can follow his adventure here).  If I really wanted an adventure, I could drop everything and go with him.  But, hmmmm, no thanks.

I don't want this adventure!

I don’t want this adventure!

I’m sure you can definitely say that all these little things in my life have been adventures and they definitely have been.  I mean, life itself is one big adventure.  Right?  Then why do I stand at the edge of a moisture farm and stare off at setting twin suns and feel that longing?

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2 thoughts on “Non-Existent Life Adventures

  1. Oh boy, this post definitely resonated with me. I like to blame my growing wanderlust and thirst for adventure on an extreme case of spring fever, but there may be more to it than that.

    I guess a couple of years ago, I had the insight to realize that I don’t have to face off against The Joker or carry the One Ring to the fires of Mount Doom to satisfy my thirst for adventure. It is possible just to stretch yourself right where you are. There was good to be done in my own community, helping the elderly with yardwork, becoming informed and helping to raise awareness about social justice issues, taking garden produce to the food pantry. These were all ways that I and a group of friends, our little Company if you will, could do good, could have adventures, without necessarily strapping into an X-wing.

    But, I feel like my inner adventurer has been couped up all winter, but that has less to do with the weather and more to do with some friend and family issues that caused the past few months to be more about rounding the wagons than “questing”. Maybe that’s the way of things. There have to be seasons of adventure and seasons to let wounds heal and take stock. However, I do feel disappointed in myself. I feel the past couple months have been spent with more worrying, less helping. And less reading really great books, seeing a fantastic films, or finding great art. I think these things are part of the adventure too.

    In a way, isn’t that what the quest is for Bilbo? It’s not just that he leaves a comfortable physical place, but he gets outside of himself. On the way to the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo learns that good friends and deeds are of greater value than doilies and a hot cup of tea. And the really amazing thing? Even cantankerous, world worn, old Thorin learns from Bilbo that those homely things have value as shown by his last words to Bilbo (and some of my favorite from the series):

    “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

  2. I’m so glad this post meant something to you! I’ve been having the adventure urges a lot, so I’m happy to see someone feels the same as I do…except you seem to have found ways to satisfy your need for adventure.

    I like how you give examples of “real life” adventuring. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that. My head is so up in the clouds of fantasy/sci-fi that I don’t think I could ever have an adventure unless I just struck out on my own, like my friend on the Appalachian Trail.

    Warmer weather definitely tames my yearning/question for adventure. I like hiking and feeling like elves are around me, kayaking and feeling like mermaids are beneath me, or swimming in the ocean and feeling like I’m a pirate. I guess winter stifles my imagination (pretending I’m on the Night’s Watch does not appeal to me) and therefore I get the questing urge really badly when spring comes around.

    I will have to argue with you about the hot cup of tea though – it has some pretty big value in my life. 😉

    I’m sorry you’ve been worrying these past couple of months. Chin up! And now I depart with a Tolkien quote of my own (specifically Sam in Two Towers):

    “… I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on — and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same — like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?”

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