Ages 11 & 12

My posts have been introspective lately. I realized when writing the last post that one of the reasons I have not written more about Star Wars specifically (planets, characters, motivations), is because Star Wars often reflects my life. It’s one of the reasons I love it so much. And since I have been reviewing and reflecting on my life this past (almost) year, I have also been doing the same with the Star Wars as a whole.

Our summer in Massachusetts is slowly coming to an end, and my husband and I were discussing what we thought about this past one. It led to the question of, “What has been your best summer EVER?”

For me, nothing can beat the summer I fell in love with Star Wars. While I had seen Star Wars before, it was something of interest, but not anything of importance. That changed when it was the summer TPM came out (1999) and I was 12 years old. My parents borrowed the OT from a family friend so that they could watch it to prep for seeing TPM in theaters. I was hooked. I was forever changed.

While reading my latest Star Wars Insider, I noticed a similar theme popping up in my many of the articles of people they interviewed. Several of the people mentioned that they fell in love with

I believe my mother has all the photos of me in Star Wars Halloween costumes at this age. 😦

Star Wars in a deep way around the age 11 or 12. It seems like this age was a turning point.

I’ve begun pondering this because most people I know who liked Star Wars earlier than that age, found it and fell in love with it because it had been part of their lives already. Perhaps a parent really liked it and brainwashed them (I say this tongue-in-cheek because I am totally doing this to my daughter without actively meaning to), or perhaps they had older siblings or a best friend who introduced them to it.

Those who fell in love around the pre-teen age had something click and change within them. I remember I knew and understood in a deep-rooted sense the longing that Luke was going through when he looked out at the binary sunset. I don’t feel that as much as I used to. But when I was a pre-teen, that sense of adventure…no, that NEED for adventure was a driving force within me. That understanding of good versus evil was becoming murkier for me. I remember one night that summer staying up until 1:00 or 2:00am puzzling out how it could have worked out had Darth Vader survived. I thought long and hard about Luke bringing Vader back and trying to get Leia to accept him as the Anakin Skywalker 2.0.

Star Wars consumed me with a fire that even filled my dreams. When I reread those diary posts from that summer, and the realness of them, I ache for that feeling.

What is it about that age? I’m sure there is a very scientific reason that has to do with hormones, budding puberty, etc., but I prefer to ignore that, just like many older fans choose to ignore the midi-cholorians in the Prequels as the reason why some people are stronger in the Force than others. Why reduce my (and others) love for Star Wars into cold, sterile science?

Is it our understanding of the world that is teetering right at the brink that drives us to turn to Star Wars to explain what we cannot yet grasp? This area of our lives where childhood innocence is almost behind us but not quite yet? This age where adulthood is bearing down upon us like the Executor in the asteroid field, and we are desperately trying to outrun it like the Millennium Falcon?

I remember at age 12 reading my Insider (yes, I’ve subscribed for years) thinking that if I loved Star Wars in 10 years, I would get the Rebel Alliance tattoo. It was my act of defiance to the adults who thought it was a stage of my life, something that was temporary, but also a promise to myself. I knew my life was changing and I had a fear too that I would desert Star Wars over time, and that my love would fade. It didn’t, but it has transformed and rebirthed multiple times. I no longer run to read every book about the latest movie, or every comic that has a backstory on one of my favorite characters. I also never imagined Disney would take over and change everything, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

This blog is a reminder to my 12-year-old self though, to keep loving the core of Star Wars, to ache with longing at the binary sunset scene and know that adventures are still out there. And to look at the tattoo I got and remember the promise the 12 year-old-me made to my adult self. (There was a delay: I got the tattoo at 26 years old)


When did you fall in love with Star Wars? Do you remember your exact age or was it always part of your life? If it was always part of your life, did you take more and more from it as you got older? How did your relationship change?

3 thoughts on “Ages 11 & 12

  1. I remember the huge ques to get in my mum took me and my brother. I was 9 in 77. The first 3 where a massive part of my life. The rest far less so. Now at 51 im watching them with the grandkids. I still enjoy the feelings of wonder when I watch them.

    1. Ah, to be alive in 1977! I’m so jealous of that. I can’t imagine seeing the VERY ORIGINAL in theaters.

      Now, it’s probably more nostalgia. I get nostalgia when watching them with the younger generation. I find that the only time I just looooove them is when I host my annual Star Wars party. Then I go nuts and it’s so fun to have everyone there, friends from all different walks of life, coming together to watch and talk about Star Wars.

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