Childhood Star Wars confessions

The official Star Wars site is removing its blogs, soon. I’ve appreciated the platform over there, and while there wasn’t a lot of content split between this blog and that one, I’ve been able to retrieve some of the more interesting pieces. Here’s a fun one from 2006, dealing with some random mistakes of a youth spent in Star Wars fandom…

Kenner really messes with your mind…

Image from

For years and years, I swore that Luke’s lightsaber was
yellow. And for years and years, random passerby swore I was colorblind!

There was a fair stretch between when I saw Episode IV
until it finally hit HBO — Feb. 1, 1983, I believe — and my family hadn’t
gotten a VCR yet. So my only resource was that first Luke Skywalker action
figure — with the yellow lightsaber, naturally.

I was disabused of the notion far, far too late. But I
won’t deny it had a little something to do with how I outfitted Zayne Carrick
in the early Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comics. (It’s OK — I’ll
wait here while you go check…)

Evil Doctor Yoda!

I went into The Empire Strikes Back half-expecting
Yoda to be a creepy monster, and Darth Vader to commit suicide at the end. No,

A mere youngling, I couldn’t wait to get into see Empire
in the theater – and as luck would have it, the local 7-Eleven had the Donald F. Glut novelization right on the front counter days in advance. Half the
school had copies, and we were all racing to get through the book first and
learn the secrets before everyone else. (One of the kids blew the Vader-Luke
connection for everybody just before English class. Grrr…)

Now, that sort of speed-reading doesn’t exactly make for
complete accuracy in comprehension. Thus, I came away not exactly knowing how
big or nasty-looking Yoda was — I was imagining him to be Greedo-like before I
hit the theater! It’s hard to imagine that today, with all the preview images
around — but back then I recall Yoda’s appearance was a pretty well kept secret — at least from me. He wasn’t in the first action figure wave, for example, so
we didn’t see him on the card backs… 

But he didn’t seem that depressed… 

If that wasn’t crazy enough, consider how half of us read
Vader’s last scene. Glut writes that on failing to catch the Falcon,
Vader quietly “walks off the bridge.” Now, none of us watched Star Trek or were otherwise conversant with naval jargon — so a
“bridge” for us was, well, a bridge. Now, what the heck a bridge
would be doing on a starship, I can’t tell you. But evidently Vader gets upset
at the end of the movie and jumps off one — or so one of our local
interpretations went!

That’s the danger with peeking in advance, at least when
you’re a kid!

Ironically, that didn’t happen me with Episodes IV and VI —
because while I did “peek at the story,” in both cases I read the
comics adaptation before seeing the movies. Score one for comics: You know what everyone looks like, and whether they’re jumping off bridges or not…

“Bespin” is usually enough for the taxi

Intellectually, I know Cloud City is called “Cloud
City,” but from the first moment I read about it (remember that
novelization, again) I’ve thought of it as “City in the Clouds.” It’s
never actually named in the film that I can recall, beyond what Luke calls it,
which, again, is “a city in the clouds.”

And now, even today, I have to catch myself not to say
“City in the Clouds” half the time… 

Comedy was so much easier at age 12…

And on that same score, I can’t see a Twin Pod Cloud Car
without cracking up. Again back there in grade school, one of the kids (maybe
trying to make up for ruining the secret of the movie earlier on) cracked us
all up with a drawing of two completely goofy-looking idiots in a spaceship:
the “Twin Pod Clod Car,” new from Kenner. And once again, that’s the
first name that comes to mind whenever I see one today…

Well, you know what they say. You never get a second chance
to get a first impression. Or something like that…