These iconic words of our beloved Princess Leia are forty years old today. On this day in 1977, George Lucas gave the world Star Wars, now dubbed A New Hope. I know, I’m only 24, I haven’t been enjoying Star Wars for 40 years..but I have enjoyed it pretty much my whole life. Being introduced to this beautiful space fantasy is actually one of my earliest memories; I remember being on the phone with my aunt Adelaida, and she was describing the cover of the VHS tape she had just bought me. “It has Darth Vader’s face, which is all black and shiny,”. I was so excited. And this was 1995…I was just 3 years old and had no idea who or what Darth Vader was, but I believe the excitement in my aunt’s voice is what made me so excited. I don’t think I necessarily made this conclusion back then, but I think it must have been meant a lot to her to share this with me. A movie that she saw at least 17 times in theaters (she would often say 100 but who knows), a series that she’s adored so much…I think it was important for her to share it with me. Looking back on it now, she must have been so elated when I first watched the movie and loved it. And I’m forever grateful for her introducing me to this world that I so adore, that I’ve loved all of my life, that inspires me and soothes me daily. And of course I still have the VHS with Vader’s “all black and shiny” face:
And I’m pretty sure she bought me the other two, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, either at the same time or shortly after, and I loved those two dearly as well…actually, it was Return of the Jedi that was constantly in my VHS player; it’s always been my favorite.
Alas, today is about 40 years of A New Hope! Again, I can’t really attest to those 40 years, but during my personal lifetime, Star Wars has always been there. From crushing on the beautiful Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill, to also crushing on his father, Anakin, played by Hayden Christiansen…to Diego Luna and Oscar Isaac, the first Latino men to lead in Star Wars. To the women I idolize, starting with the late Carrie Fisher, to her mother played by Natalie Portman, and to my current baes, Rey and Jyn Erso played by Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones, respectively. I adore so many of the characters and relationships this saga has given us, and I’ve always loved them above everything else. I appreciate lightsaber battles and spaceships more now, but as a kid, the battles didn’t really excite me (because obviously I was a stupid child). But really, it was always Luke and Leia that cemented my attachment to these stories.
The only thing that’s really changed about my love of Star Wars is how I’ve been able to express it. When I was a kid, there weren’t many other kids I got to talk about it with. As the years went on, I was ridiculed by my peers for loving it and letting it show. First, I believe, it was for wearing the beautiful watches that Burger King sold at the time of the theatrical release of Revenge of the Sith, the final prequel/what we all thought at the time would be the last Star Wars film we would ever receive. They were all double-sided and just the greatest watches ever. My favorite was the Darth Maul side of the Phantom Menace watch.
I mean, it probably didn’t help that some days, I would wear all six watches at once on my tiny 13-year old arms, but still…no regrets.
The other item was a black t-shirt from Hot Topic with the beautiful Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker on it…I miss that shirt. Sadly, it is long gone…it didn’t fit me anymore anyway.
And yet, with my massive love for Star Wars, that was all I really ever had, aside from a t-shirt or two from the little boys section when I was little. It’s been amazing to see Star Wars fashion grow over the years, particularly for women, and while some people (like my parents) might think I have gone overboard with all of my t-shirts, sweaters, dresses, skirts, jewelry, etc….I don’t care, I’m just happy that all of these fabulous apparel has been available to me and I can’t help but buy so much even when I’ve probably already made up for lost time (when no such amazing things were available) And I don’t care if you don’t like that I love Star Wars so much…I’m not that shy and vulnerable child anymore. I wear my love and express every way I can and want to. But back to the fabulous galactic wardrobe I have now…this is from under a year ago but it doesn’t reflect even my current collection, but just to give you an idea about how much Star Wars fashion I’ve acquired over the last few years or so:
If I had to guess without actually going through my closets right now, I’d say my collection has AT LEAST definitely doubled.
Guys, it’s not my fault…I just love this series and the characters so much and I love to express it!
Also I love dressing up as the characters, naturally…here is me as the ultimate rebel princess a few Halloweens ago:
I think that’s just a testimony to how meaningful this franchise is; I’m dressing up as a character that I was introduced to when I was 3 years old in my adulthood, and I definitely plan on continuing to do so (whether it be at comic conventions, Halloween parties, or even just random days where I want to feel regal yet super badass and fabulous).
Happy 40th Anniversary, Star Wars!! May you continue to inspire all generations to come!