Saturday, August 18, 2012
In two cities, not so very long ago....
Several weeks ago, I received a letter from a very dear friend of mine. This friend's name is Esme, and she included a proposal in her letter. See, many, many moons ago (perhaps not entirely on Earth, but in our imaginations and far, far off galaxies) we bonded over Star Wars and everything to do with it. We even created our own RPG, complete with Endor-esque woodland adventures and places for ourselves as characters in the Star Wars universe. Now, so many years later, Es proposed that we reread all of the books we loved into tatters back in the day, and maybe give some of the new, expanded universe books a try. I, Rose, am all for it! And we decided to chronicle our journey on this blog. The books are listed at to the side of the main blog, so you can follow along with us. The current (could possibly change in the near future) plan is to read one book a month and to blog before, during, and after.
I, Ro, am personally so, so excited to be rereading some of my favorite books from childhood. I always have vowed to myself that I would read them all again, but just never seem to have the time to do it. I work at an indy bookstore near Seattle, and other books always seemed to jump into my hands before I could make it to my Star Wars shelves. But now, NOW I have the perfect excuse to set down the other books clambering for my attention and focus it on my favorite universe of all time! Star Wars is not only a childhood love, it's helped me get through many challenging health issues. As a girl who was born with a rare spinal birth defect, and later a young woman who went through cancer (and beat it!), I have always found strength in the idea that there is a binding Force in our universe. Maybe it operated differently here than in the Star Wars galaxies, but that didn't matter to me. The Force was always there when I needed it, in the form of my family and friends. Mara and Leia taught me what it meant to be a strong woman. Han, Luke, and Chewie taught me the meaning of integrity and honor. Threepio and Artoo made me laugh. And Master Yoda taught me how to clear my mind and breath deeply when I was scared or angry, and how to let the emotions go. Yes, I think rereading these books now will be a very positive thing in my life. I can't wait to get started on our first book: The Truce at Bakura! This is one of the classic books that I didn't read as a child, so I'm starting off with an unknown bang, and I can't wait to get started! I expect it will be chaotic, since the Empire was just blown to smithereens (in Return of the Jedi). Chaos always makes for a good backdrop in books.
I really couldn't have put any of that better than Rose just did, so I will only add that my own love of Star Wars began when my father insisted on renting "A New Hope" instead of one of the Star Trek movies (I will just add that this decision saved me from ever having to see "The Wrath of Khan"). One look at Darth Vader as he strode onto the deck of the Tantive IV and I was gone, hiding fearfully with my sister behind the couch. Like Luke Skywalker himself, I overcame my fear of the asthmatic Sith Lord and learned to love Star Wars more than I'd ever loved a movie before. When, a few weeks after I'd watched "Return of the Jedi," I found Timothy Zahn's immortal "Heir to the Empire" for 50 cents at the garage sale of my school bus driver ... let's just say it was fate.
The expanded universe created by Zahn, Stackpole, Anderson, MacBride Allen, and many others, taught me about writing - that to be a good storyteller is to involve the reader so deeply that she forgets she's reading until she closes the book. That same universe also taught me about everything from love (oh, how I ship!) to astronomy to complex governmental conspiracies ... anyway, what George Lucas started back in '77, these authors have built upon and developed into the greatest space opera the world has ever seen.
So thanks, Ro-ro, for joining me on this journey. I can't wait to get started!