Like so many fans across the country, I am going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens with my family. A true Super Bowl event for geeks and nerds alike wanting to show their support in the way of elaborate costumes, cool t-shirts and mock lightsaber battles while patiently waiting for the iconic blue Franklin Gothic typeface to say: A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away…
But what does it truly mean to you, and to the rest of the world?
For this Indian, it was the catalyst that activated my true self nearly 40 years ago. I can’t imagine who I would be if it not been for George Lucas, Kenner Toys, Marvel Comics and their contributions that feed my appetite for all things Star Wars as a kid. In an age where DVDs were not even heard of, that is how most of us kept the spirit of the Force alive in our young lives.
I mean, who doesn’t remember the magic of going down a toy aisle of any department store and staring in awe of their Star Wars display? On the shelves before us where hundreds of action figures, playsets and vehicles all with the unwritten promise that your afternoons would get so much better with their purchase.
Or how about the RCA records? John Williams’s classic score, the theme song to so many legendary events that took place on battlefields of so many a schoolyard’s recess. But it wasn’t just the soundtrack that was great, for me and others - it was the Storybook records which, let’s face it WERE the DVDs for so many of us.
I have so many wonderful memories that nurtured this imagination. I realize that all these were just “things” but the outcome generated the desire within me to create worlds like this. I wouldn’t be a comic book artist today, if it had not been for that 1st film. Even at 4-years-old my mom has me in my baby book talking about how much I loved drawing, especially Star Wars. The coolest thing is, is that never went away.
"Age 5, he loves drawing space people, Star Wars."
So now, 38 years later after first seeing it with my Mom and Dad, I am taking my own children to see the latest chapter of the Skywalker family. They too will now be introduced to a universe of magic and fantasy with a hiss of a lightsaber, the cry of a Wookiee and the chirps of a droid.
Will the magic still be there? What kind of effect will this film have on their young lives? My hope is, is that in a day and age of 24-hour cartoons, special-effects laden blockbusters and hyper-realistic video games, that they too will feel the same as I did so many years ago.
Jeffrey Veregge is an award winning artist and designer from the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe in Kingston, Washington. A professional comic book artist who works with Marvel, Valiant and IDW Comics. Speaks fluently the languages of Geek, Nerd and occasionally Droid. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/JeffreyVeregge