May the Fourth Be With You

Today is a special day, because it’s Star Wars Day. Now, I celebrate today not because of my deep love for Star Wars (which is quite deep, lemme tell ya), but rather because of my appreciation for it.

I’ll tell you a story that you’ve probably heard enough times now that it’s nearing the point of cliche. I was a quiet, shy, geeky kid, and Star Wars helped me belong. So did Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, video games, and Converse sneakers. But I can think of few other things that had such an impact on my development than Star Wars, if for no other reason than this: it inspired me to write.

I have always had a creative mindset. I used to have a good deal of skill in drawing, but I ended up leaning towards words as my primary means of creativity. Of course, I’ve since merged the two passions, much to my enjoyment, but it took quite a while to get back there. Honestly, I should’ve gotten there long ago. I remember back in second grade being a huge fan of Jim Davis’s Garfield. I even wrote what was essentially fan fiction of Garfield (Stop laughing). It was a short story for a class assignment, and it was then I received my first ever criticism: “There’s too much dialogue.” Which was, honestly, shit criticism because it needed the dialogue; what it lacked was better detail. Yet, as I often do, I digress.

Star Wars made me wand to write a novel. From the first moment I saw the Millennium Falcon, I was in love with that ship and smuggler ships and space ships in general. It’s such a great, iconic vessel, and it caused a spark within me. Years later, after high school, when I thought I’d be a songwriter, I revisited that initial novel idea and began to apply pen to paper. Fifteen years and three completed, and discarded/trashed, versions later, it’s stuck on the third draft of the fourth rewrite. See, that’s the problem with writing something while your style is still forming: Either you get it out quickly, and it’s a meter stick for your development, or it languishes and becomes almost useless.

(I say “almost” because nothing you ever write is useless. It may not be usable, but it serves some purpose. There is great nobility in discarded manuscripts. They always serve a purpose, be it helping flex your writing muscles, develop a voice, or just get some of the shit writing out of your system. Mine were basically everything tossed together in a big pile of good grief. Hell, I might as well just call them drafts, because that’s what they ended up being more than anything, but that would put me on my ninth draft, and I really don’t like the way that sounds.)

Anyway, someday, I know this novel will see the light of day, and maybe you will read it. Hopefully, that day will be soon. Until then, I just want to express my gratitude for the adventure that really started it all for me: Star Wars. I know this is a short little jaunt, and perhaps I’ll revisit this in a year and go into greater depth about the impact Star Wars has had on my life. For now, leave you here I will.

May the Force be with you. Always.

Oh, and Han shot first. I can’t stress that enough. (Maybe I’ll go into depth on that next year, too.)

-The Retail Explorer

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