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.'”
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’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?