Hey Legion! Happy May the 4th! It’s our one year anniversary today! To celebrate, I asked my favorite geek celebrities, writers and friends to give me their favorite Star Wars memories. I’d love to hear all of yours in the comments!
“Princess Leia was a huge influence on my growing up. Before I saw Star Wars, my playground adventures involved me being rescued. At least, that’s what the little boys in my neighborhood wanted me to do. I sat on the top of the playground tower, waiting. After we all saw Star Wars, I got to have a blaster (made from a very oddly-shaped tree branch), take control of missions and be part of a team. I actually remember the first time back out with my little buddies after the film. I had my hair up in buns, a long white shirt, my mom’s silver belt and that branch; I ran around the backyard blasting everyone, used my baton as a pole to keep the imaginary trash compactor open and coming up with fun things to call the kid playing Chewie. It was the most fun I’d ever had!
“Leia was the first woman I saw on screen who got to fight as hard as the guys. From there I graduated to Wonder Woman, Battle of the Planets and more … but it all started with Princess Leia.”
“One of my favorite Star Wars moments would be opening day of the re-vamped Star Tours ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, FL. I had the opportunity to share the stage with George Lucas, Bob Iger, Dave Filoni and Anthony Daniels! We all had the chance to chat backstage before this photo was taken. The whole day was just surreal and is forever stamped in my memory!”
“My favorite star wars moment is Boba Fett mackin on all them bitches. PiMP!”
– Adrianne Curry, model, actress, cosplay Queen, America’s Next Top Model
“My Dad used to play the Super 8 film colour, no-sound version on a home projector we had, for when my cousins would come over. I remember being in awe, not fully understanding whether this world fully existed or not – but wishing with every ounce of my being that I could go there. I begged him for 4 years to let me see the original, then one day I saw the Betamax on the shelf of our local video store. He bought it for me and brought his player from his office, just so I could see it. I completely wore the Betamax out, but the original Super 8 now sits in our display cabinet at GeekNation.”
“My favorite Star Wars memory is a Leia one: that moment she rescues Han Solo when he’s frozen in carbonite. I knew then that I wanted to love someone that much when I was older.”
“My parents split up when I was very young. My brother and I ended up living in Baltimore with my Mom, and my Father- a successful commercial director- lived in New York City. The first time we went to visit my Dad in NYC, he took us to see a special screening of Star Wars at the Ziegfeld Theater… and that night changed my life.
“Star Wars, quite literally, blew my mind. It was aspirational. It was transportive. It was huge, hopeful and boundless… and to a troubled, creative kid of recently divorced parents, it was an absolutely glorious perfect fucking gateway to a world of possibilities far removed from the one I was stuck in.
“Creatively, professionally and personally, I’ll always feel a profound debt to the universe that Star Wars opened up to me… and it’s nice, after all this time, to see how many others feel the same way.
“It was one of our first dates, and my now husband Yuri was telling me a story about growing up and seeing Star Wars for the first time, and he started singing his childhood “Star Wars” song (cue the Star Wars theme music using the words “Star Wars – St-aaaar Wars St-aaaaaar Waaars Star Wars…) and I could tell he was a keeper! I mean, come on, if he had had his Superman cape on or his Batman mask at the time I might have married him on the spot!”
– Tara Platt, voiceover artist, actress, web series producer, Shelf Life
“I was almost 10 years old the summer The Empire Strikes Back came out. After seeing it 13 times I rounded up the neighborhood kids and directed my own ESB play hand written on that endless dot matrix printer paper. This picture was taken on Halloween still a glow from the summer, we gathered one last time to prove that we believed in the power of the Force.
My 4-year old geekling daughter Ella has been discovering the Force through the new animated series: Star Wars Rebels. She told me not to call her Ella while in her HERA costume. My heart leaped with Star Wars parental pride that day.”
“I used to love my Star Wars action figures so much that I used to have to take a shower before playing with them so they stayed brand new. There I said it, now move on to the next quote. …STOP JUDGING ME!”
“What is there not to love about Star Wars? Having just come back from Star Wars Celebration I realized how many people from different walks of life connection to Star Wars and a galaxy far far away. That’s what I love about it the most! The fact that a little girl can want to be a Jedi or a father is there with his teenage son, named Anakin (true story).
“There is literally I don’t think anyone that can’t find something or storyline in Star Wars that makes them feel something. Seeing the trailer for The Force Awakens for the first time brought all of those elements together for me that are just the life forces and heart of these movies. And the fact that it set in a galaxy far far away just makes it that much more awesome and inspiring. So inspiring in fact that ever since I was a kid occasionally, I actually try to move things using the force. One day the remote control will move from the coffee table into my hand on the couch and maybe it will be on May 4. Because these movies made me believe that the force may just be strong in this one!”
– Tiffany Smith, actress, host DC All-Access
“The Unicorn’s best memory of Star Wars was when she was watching Star Wars as a young unicorn and wanting to become a Jedi. She loved the idea of powers that came from the mind and it inspired her to open up her magical powers! Like Luke with his lightsaber, the Unicorn learned the used the powers of The Force with her hornsaber. Leia was also a role model for the Unicorn. Having a fellow strong female put in charge gave the Unicorn the courage to come out to the world as The Unicorn. Strong female geeky unicorns unite!”
– The Unicorn, The Unicorn Chronicles
“Most of you know me as a pop culture nerd, but I’m also a giant film music nerd. Not only have I studied music my whole life (thanks to my mom’s passion for everything from Mozart to The Kinks), but I also was a really weird kid who grew up collecting soundtracks, including way too many John Williams CDs. So, as a nerd adult, it was quite the treat to watch him conduct the orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl with my mother sitting right next to me. There may also have been some embarrassing screaming and crying (and I will kill you if you tell anyone). The first half of the program included ET and Indiana Jones, then, after intermission, Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones, showed up to help narrate pretty much the entire Star Wars saga, including my personal faves: “The Asteroid Field” and “Luke and Leia”. I’ve now seen Mr. Williams in concert about 8 years in a row (restraining order?), and it’s always the best to see thousands of people bust out their lightsabers during “The Imperial March”. May the force be with all you nerds!”
– Dorina Arellano, writer Legion of Leia
“I loved watching the original trilogy on VHS with my dad and much younger brother when he was 8 years old.”
“My favorite memory of Star Wars is: my first viewing of the movie! Star Wars was the first film that I was completely invested in. The first movie where I experienced impeccable world building. I was so young and watched mostly Disney animated movies or live action movies like Herbie or Mary Poppins. Then Star Wars happened. Watching the film, I remember feeling every possible emotion that you can feel, all in 2 hours. Jaw dropping awe in the first few minutes of the film: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” WHAT?!?!? Then worry for this captive princess. Absolute fear when Luke, Leia, Han and Chewy were in the garbage compactor. There’s nothing scarier than what can’t be seen underwater! That scene haunted me. HAUNTED ME! Then Concern for the rebel fighters. I was so scared that Luke wasn’t gonna make that shot in the trench but he did. HE DID!!!
“My sister and I immediately got Luke and Leia dolls and like many of my generation, had them make out repeatedly — and we all know how gross that turned out… But I wouldn’t change any of it!”
“I don’t know if it was 1977 or 1978 when it happened. I grew up in a small town in Iowa and we had to drive the nearest “big” city, Waterloo, to see movies. And even then there were only four choices at the theatre in the mall. So we often got films much later than the rest of the country. I know the film was released in ’77, but for some reason I think I saw it in ’78. Anyway, none of that matters, except that it highlights how out of the loop we were in small town America back then. No web. No social media. Just three channels on TV and whatever we read in magazines. We were, in a way, isolated. And for a dreamy little nerd like me, that was doubly true. I liked to read and draw and, even then, write stories. All kids like to pretend, but I was a pro. Which means, to most folks in my town, I was weird. I was. I was weird.
“So, almost a year late to the party my parents took us to see this film. And this is where my moment happened. The lights went down. The screen went black. The slightly cryptic (to a seven year old) words, ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…’ flashed on the screen and then suddenly… STAR WARS. Fucking STAR WARS! John Williams’ score crashed in, with those crisp horns. And in one second I was transported from the corn fields and sale barns and Skoal bandits of small town life into this amazingly realized world of star ships and aliens and Jedis and… FUCKING STAR WARS! It was like the weird little fantasy world that had only existed in my brain had become manifest. Most importantly, it did what all good stories should do at the beginning, it told the listener, ‘Come with us! You won’t believe the amazing things we have in store for you!’ And I still don’t. ”
– Brian Bradley, Television Writer and Producer
“I think my favorite Star Wars moment was sitting down with my pops (John Dykstra) after finally watching Star Wars for the first time and hearing all of his crazy memories of working on the film. For instance, fashioning a slip-n-slide out of an airplane emergency slide. Some people say he’s a genius, I concur.”
“I was the community manager for Star Wars Galaxies, and that time will always be special for me. From decorating player cities for Life Day events to chatting with passionate Star Wars fans in person, from having meetings about the Battle of Hoth to spending an entire afternoon trying to figure out if it was “Dak” or “Dack” — working on SWG was truly a dream job.”
“I’ll never forget how it felt to walk into my very first Star Wars Celebration! I felt so welcomed and accepted by the community. The Force was strong!”
“I was so obsessed with Star Wars as a child that I don’t even know if I could read yet but somehow I bought the ‘Making of The Empire Strikes Back’ paperback before the movie was even released, so I could absorb as much of that world as I could – I reread it many times. It had set photos in the middle of the book!”
– Peter Shinkoda, Nobu in Daredevil
“From a personal standpoint, as a shy, lonely kid who got picked on at school, this was extremely relatable. People can try to hold you back and tell you what you are and what you’ll amount to, but they don’t know. Nobody does. The world awaits to test and shape and prove every one us, just like unassuming, blue milk-swilling, moisture-farm-boy Luke.
“Star Wars has always been a part of my life. As a kid I envied how strong Leia was, and the amazing adventures she found with her (and my) love Han Solo. While I love my dark side folks, Han will always have my heart.
“Science fiction is a place where women are safe to adventure and explore, and to even save the universe. And Star Wars was the first time I was exposed to the endless possibilities! That’s why it’s so near and dear to my heart.”
– Anastasia Washington, writer Legion of Leia, Nerd Reactor
“My Uncle lived next door and we would watch one of the movies from the original trilogy everyday. He could speak all of the languages and I thought that was so cool. It came in handy when they released the digitally remastered version in the 97. We stood in line and they asked if anyone could speak Jawaese. I could. I won a button. Booyah!”
“My favorite Star Wars memory was receiving the Star Wars Insider with Mara Jade on the cover. I was so happy to see one of my favorite characters some to life!”
– M. Elizabeth Hughes, producer The Guild, Husbands, Much Ado About Nothing
“I was a teenager when Star Wars came out. I Went to my first ever midnight showing. The audience was insane with enthusiasm. I loved the movie from the first note of the score. I was spellbound by Yoda. Han Solo captured my heart. I became Princess Leia and through her I was a leader, a beautiful, brave adventurer. I’m smiling from ear to ear writing this! Happy Anniversary Legion of Leia!”
– Amanda Wyss, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Deadly Impact, Highlander, Buck Rogers
“I was in line for hours at the movie theater in my college town waiting for Star Wars: Episode III, when I realized I forgot my light saber at home! I ran to the grocery store next door and purchased a box of Corn Pops that included a light saber spoon as a prize. I had a light saber battle with Darth Vader in the movie theater parking lot with my saber spoon… and he was defeated. It’s not the size of the Saber, it’s how you use it – It being ‘The Force.'”
“My favorite Star Wars merch memory is my mom making my little brother Vince that chocolate Darth Vader cake that every other kid in America had! I still remember how it tasted. I will also always treasure the time I spent wearing Leia buns and playing my accordion with Boba Fett and the Americans, especially at the Denver Film Festival premiere of “The People vs. George Lucas.”
– Audrey Marold, Boba Fett and the Americans
“Star Wars was something that my dad and I really bonded over. After he passed away, his prized Obi-Wan Kenobi statue took on so much meaning, and I still see that character as a father figure.”
“When the first Star Wars movie quickly became the most successful movie ever, that made me – the nerdy bookworm who felt so lonely in the midst of other kids – feel less alone in the world. Its success said that there were plenty of people out there who loved things I loved even if I did not yet know who they were, and it said that the world was changing. It really was a new hope.”
“My favorite Star Wars memory was visiting the Disneyland Resort as a little girl and going on Star Tours with my Dad. I didn’t want the ride to be over, so when we came home that night he sat me in front of the TV in our recliner chair, turned on the Death Star scene and violently shook the chair around so I could feel like I was back on the attraction.”
– Brittany Walloch, Wizard World
“I love Princess Leia’s character. She’s a Rebel leader! She is strong, smart, determined and multidimensional! She fights along side men and still maintains her femininity. I remember first seeing her on screen. I identified with her immensely. I thought the scene where she and Luke find out they are brother and sister was hilarious. Way underplayed and under acknowledged. Great curve ball!”
– Satine Phoenix, artist “New Praetorians”
“My favorite Star Wars memory is wanting to be Luke Skywalker for Halloween one year and arguing with my godmother over what his outfit looked like. She said it was just a black shirt and pants (Return of the Jedi) but kept saying No NO it’s a white shirt that wraps around and it has a belt over it and brown pants (New Hope) I hadn’t seen return of the Jedi yet so I didn’t know she was right too.”
– Will Brattain, costumer
“My Favorite Star Wars memory would have to be the first time I saw Return of the Jedi. I was too young to remember Empire or a New Hope but I distinctly recall commercials for the closing of the Trilogy. Ewoks, Epic Battles in Space and of course Lightsabers. When the spark hum of the saber first entered my ear canals, I knew I was a Star Wars kid for life. To this day, the mere sight or sound of a lightsaber fills my heart with a childlike joy I cannot describe. The Force is strong with us, and it gets stronger every day. Happy May the 4th!”
“My most distinct memory of Star Wars: A New Hope was going to see it opening weekend with a group of friends at the Chinese Theatre (there was only one then), getting separated from them and searching the theatre with an Imperial Cruiser flying over my head.”
– Abbie Bernstein, writer
“I went to see Empire Strikes Back in theaters when I was five years old with my mom, dad, and eight-year-old sister. During the climactic lightsaber duel between Luke and Darth Vader, there was a moment when one of them jumped out of the shadows and startled my sister so bad that she accidentally dumped her entire soda into my father’s lap. He went to the bathroom to clean it up, and missed one of the greatest cinematic reveals in history!