Growing up Geek: How Star Wars Shaped My Life


Photo Credit: Julia Ondrak

As the daughter of two teachers- one elementary school, one college professor I was pre-programmed to be a geek. I grew up on “retro” music and stacks of books, preferring the company of Christine Daae, Jane Bennet, Holden Caulfield (even though he’s an asshole), Adam West’s Batman, and the Doctor (<3 Tom Baker) than real people. I was exposed to museums, ballet, theater, and sports from birth, but it wasn’t until I was 8 that I made a real connection with pop culture.

On a warm summer Friday night, I fell in love with Star Wars. Eight years old, clutching a bowl of popcorn, I was mesmerized by Lucas’s films for the first time. The drama, the comedy, the ridiculous special effects. In my head I WAS Leia, fighting for the Rebellion, traveling the galaxies, and kicking ass on a daily basis. I read all the books from the original scripts to the spin off novels to the Young Jedi Knights (The Last Command was my favourite when I was 11- proof positive that I was a warped kid), spent hours in the back yard having curtain-rod lightsaber duels with my friends, and marched around the house perfecting my Vader cape swirl. My 1977 original action figures are among my most prized possessions, discovered during an antique mall trip in middle school.

Star Wars was my first true fandom. It was the gateway in to superheros, fantasy, and a true love of science fiction. Batman, Doctor Who, and Star Wars formed the base that my fandom love built on. Harry Potter, Firefly, Buffy, the Avengers, Green Lantern, and a weird love of the Huntress followed. These stories gave me hope, adventure, and plenty of amazing strong female role models to emulate. Every day, I find new things I love about being a geek girl- new stories, friends, authors, conventions. Fantastic reader that will listen to me ramble about how much I love geekdom. I credit all of that to my first viewing of Star Wars, on that Friday night in the 90s.

Being here is awesome. Now let’s go watch Star Wars before Lucas (or Disney) changes it again.

One Response to “Growing up Geek: How Star Wars Shaped My Life”
  1. Tony Troxell says:

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