Noo Doobt Aboot It!

The title actually has nothing to do with the post – I just think it’s fun to say sometimes.

I also don’t know what to write about today. My mind is way over-tired and all over the place, to boot (not “to bout”). I was asleep and dreaming when my alarm went off this morning, and I’ve been confused ever since.

My horoscope told me to be myself in social situations, and another one told me to stop being so indefinite. So there’s that.

I can’t even sort out what that would mean, if I were taking it more seriously.

I did manage to nail down a date for The Mind Reels next radio play, though! We’re doing an episode of Flash Gordon from 1935, I believe it is, and at the moment, it’s an all-girl cast, which rocks. Well, all girls and Tim, but let’s face it. There are many times when I bring more testosterone to the table than he does! Haha

I think we are also going to use that opportunity to announce the winners in each category of the Reelie Awards, which should be fun, and long overdue! The Flash Gordon script is on the shorter side, so we should have a bit more time to do the Reelie announcements, then delve into the ridiculous script. I’m really hoping the LiveStream will be working for it, but if not, we will work around it, like always. I’ve learned enough to have a back-up plan for everything, now, anyway. It’ll just be far more fun if it’s live.

I’m excited to see my dentist on Monday. Haha Never thought I’d ever say THOSE words! But one tooth is causing a ton of pain now, and I want to talk to her about what we should do with it before I make any decisions. As well, I’m hoping she can do some kind of quick patch-up job to at least help keep the pain at bay long enough for me to enjoy Fan Expo and my birthday and crap, and get me through until my regular appointment comes up early in September.

My dentist is the best. I have faith in her!

So that’s that. Still keeping my eyes on the Skywalker prize that is Fan Expo/Labour Day/my birthday weekend, and hoping that the near-constant budgeting I’ve been doing will help me through to next pay day and beyond. It’s stressful, but I have hope. Things have a way of working out.

I’m missing some people. There isn’t much I can do about it, but maybe there’s a way to balance things out in my daily life so that I miss them all a little less.

Maybe.

My Star Wars Life (Part 1 of Infinity)

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I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t love Star Wars. I was 5 when it was released in theatres (though I think I fell asleep during the matinee where I saw it for the first time; I remember droids in the desert, but nothing about a space battle at the end), and if I recall correctly, my first action figure was Bossk, who appeared in my Christmas stocking after Empire came out. Once my younger brother and I got started with the toys, what had started as a child’s playtime hobby would quickly grow into something far more. By the time Jedi was released, I was old enough to fall in love with Luke Skywalker, I’d begin to equate The Force as my first real understanding of religion and the nature of faith, and Star Wars took its place in my heart as a life-long obsession.

I joined the Official Fan Club right around then, and really never looked back. I wasn’t so much a collector as just a kid who wanted everything I could get my hands on, and I’m happy that most of it has more or less survived in my possession to this day. It’s all in terrible shape, but I wasn’t collecting it to one day sell it for an atrocious price – its value was far greater to me than to anyone else. To me it was priceless; as much so to me now as it was then. In some cases, even more. Star Wars – the whole scope of that galaxy long ago and far away – became more than just a fandom to me. It became a part of who I am.

I even got Carrie Fisher to sign one of the old photos I got in my original fan club membership kit – water-stained, pin holes and all. It hung on my bedroom wall for years and had seen its share of the ravages of time. The photo is of Luke and Leia on the Falcon after Ben dies in A New Hope (spoiler alert), and it’s always been one of my favourites, so having her sign it was a huge honour. Now I just need Mr. Hamill to make it to Toronto one of these days!

Bantha Tracks

Anyway, one of my biggest regrets, however, was in giving away my Luke Skywalker Bespin Fatigue Jacket – an exclusive of the official fan club, and something I’d begged my parents for what seemed like forever before they finally agreed to buy it for me. I can still remember going to the post office and buying a money order in US funds and dropping it carefully into the mailbox with my order form, clipped out of an issue of Bantha Tracks, the club’s newsletter. I think I’d rarely wanted anything so much in my entire life, before or since. Then, of course, I had to wait another forever for it to finally arrive in the mail, but when it did, it was perfection. All I could have hoped for and more.

Which was rare, really. Usually when I really want something, it ends up being not nearly as great as I thought it would be. That jacket, though, was even better than I’d dreamed, and I wore it everywhere, imagining myself to be Luke’s young Jedi sidekick or sorts.

Until I out-grew it.

Not emotionally. Physically, I grew too tall and it would no longer ever fit me again. I was kinda devastated, but reluctantly agreed to give it to our friend down the street, who was the same age as my brother, and therefore smaller than me. I cut the tag out of the collar to save as a memento, and gave away my greatest treasure. I mean, our friend was a huge fan, too, so I knew it was going to a good home, but still. It wasn’t my home.

Years – nay decades – went by, and I could never quite get that jacket out of my mind. Because my real obsession didn’t kick in until Jedi was released, I’d never gotten the action figure of Luke wearing it, so one day I bought a pretty sweet loose one in a comic book store, just on a whim. He was in better shape than many from that era, though missing his blaster and lightsaber. I didn’t care, though. Again, I wanted it for me, not to re-sell some future day. I even keep him separate from my other action figures, just because that one is a little bit extra special to me. Even still, though, the jacket – I couldn’t get the jacket completely out of my head. I wished I still had it so I could make a display for it – the smaller the jacket, the easier to display, even. It would have been perfect!

I’d occasionally peruse Ebay, looking for sellers who were getting rid of theirs, but on the rare occasion that I would find one (they only made so many in its very short original run), they were absurdly out of my price range. I knew I’d likely never find another one, and even went back to the mom of the guy I’d given it to, and asked if it was still by any chance in a box at her home or in storage somewhere. Zero luck.

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Until one day, during another supposed fruitless Ebay search, I found one. Not only had it been in storage since it had been purchased, but the seller even still had the original packaging in which it had been mailed! What’s more, I could afford it. What’s even more, there was a Buy It Now option that I could use, instead of bidding on it and risking losing it to someone richer than I. The only problem was that I no longer had any credit cards, because bankruptcy.

That’s where Tim stepped in and saved the day!

He bought it on his credit card, and I gave him cash a few days later once we’d gotten paid (and once we knew the conversion rate after shipping, etc, of course). To this day, I can not believe my luck! I tracked the shipment – multiple times a day, just in case it got any closer without me knowing – and waited with bated breath for my new old treasure to arrive.

When it finally did, I was almost in tears. Actually, even now, just thinking about it. It was perfect. As good as new, and so soft – I’d forgotten how soft it was. The tissue paper and brown sturdy paper envelope with the fan club’s original return address label on the outside, even the 80’s postmark…everything about it came rushing back in an overwhelming wave of emotion and memory for me. The seller hadn’t even known what size it was, but again, I didn’t care. I wanted to display it eventually, not wear it around. Now my Jedi sidekick-ish-ness is mostly done incognito, after all. 😉

Naturally, though, I tried that sucker on.

And it fit.

What the Force?! How did a kid in her late 30’s/early 40’s get so lucky as to find her one regret, her missing treasure, decades after having given it up because she’d grown too tall for it – and then find one that she could somehow afford and that actually FIT? I may not have eaten the healthiest for a few weeks there to make sure rent was still covered, but come on! That’s freaking amazing!!!

My next task was to sort out exactly how to display it. My initial plan had been to get one of those glass-doored display boxes for baseball jersey’s and bats and such, because I wanted to include my Luke Skywalker Empire Strikes Back Lightsaber hilt from Master Replicas – signed by Mark Hamill, the man himself! But I also really love the custom display case that it came with, and putting that in a second case seemed silly. So instead, I got a frame for just the jacket, and then rearranged some shelves on a bookcase in my living room to fit all of it – the framed jacket as the centrepiece, the lightsaber and loose action figure in case, along with a few of the other little Star Wars trinkets I’ve acquired more recently. I even added a couple of original Empire trading cards in the frame with the jacket – doubles, of course – featuring Luke wearing the very same one.

Luke Skywalker Jacket Display

It’s pretty spectacular, I have to say!

I have a ton of Star Wars stuff, from then, from the in-between years, from more recently, and even a bit from the newest film in the franchise. My collection is always growing, but it is still every bit of it for me. It’s a part of me; a part of my memories, and a part of my life. Even more a part of my very foundation as a person. They say the years before 5 last the rest of their lives, but I think sometimes, in the years which follow, things can also happen to change and shape you into the person you become. I think part of me will forever reside in that long ago and far away place.

In the meantime, though, my next ongoing project (among so many others) is to acquire loose versions of the original Kenner action figures:

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And yes, I have a checklist on the go.   😉

Do NOT Read Unless You’ve Seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Or, you know, if you don’t care about spoilers.

They are minor spoilers, but regardless, you’ve been warned.

So, I’ve been thinking about the map. You know, the one that leads to Skywalker, that was at the heart of the whole film. In addition to blowing up the Death Star 3.0 thingy, of course.

I was thinking last night, and trying to backtrack a bit to before Luke disappeared. I never really questioned that R2 might have a copy of the same map that the Empire/First Order had, because even if it hadn’t occurred to me that R2 may have downloaded it when he’d plugged into the Death Star decades earlier, I’m used to the Expanded Universe, wherein the Alliance learned a lot from the records that had been kept on Corusant after it had been liberated from the Empire’s grasp once the 2nd Death Star was destroyed. So to me, many of the old Empire records (haha I liked that movie!) would have been fair game.

And the map on both sides was incomplete, which I guess would make sense if Luke himself had to go searching for the first Jedi temple. That may never have been common knowledge.

So, presumably, at some point, Luke found what he was looking for, and added it to the map. He created the missing segment and either gave it to Max von Sydow, or left it somewhere it could be found. Hopefully by an ally.

Maybe it was created from whatever transportation he used to get there. Whatever. I’m not even sure how the first part of his journey was available on both R2’s copy and the First Order’s, but maybe the FO was just able to narrow it down based on the missing piece, and needed that last bit to pinpoint Luke’s location. It all makes for a sweet team effort between R2 and BB-8 (WHOM I FREAKING LOVE), so I’ll allow it.

To me, the more important piece of information is WHERE that missing piece was left and located.

From what we can tell so far, it was on Jakku.

The same place Rey was left years ago.

That can’t possibly be a coincidence. Not even in a galaxy far, far away.

Maybe Max von Sydow was its guardian. Maybe he was even there to keep an eye on young Rey, much the way Obi-Wan kept an eye on Luke – from a distance – while he was growing up on Tatooine. Maybe not. But regardless of the connection, or if there even is one, my brain keeps going over everything we learn in the film, and trying to figure out who Rey could be.

It’s kind of an obsession, to be honest. I haven’t been this excited about a new character in that universe since my introduction to Mara Jade. The fact that Daisy Ridley looks so much like Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley makes me think she’s at least related to Luke and Leia in some way, but it is of course possible that she’s not. Maybe she’s a Kenobi. Maybe she’s from another family entirely that was or was not strong in the Force. Though abandoning a kid on a desert planet by herself for no reason seems kind of cold, so I’m thinking someone knew she was important. Or that she would be.

Plus, there’s all the little things that tie her to our known heroes. The hug with Leia even though they’d never met, while Chewie and Leia didn’t even acknowledge one another at that point.  Han and Leia were both unconcerned when Kylo Ren took Rey with him, and I don’t feel that was a lack of compassion on their part. I think it was more that they knew she’d be okay with Ren, at least for awhile.

(By the way, why would his name be Ben? That didn’t really make sense to me, but whatever. I’ll allow that, too, for sentimentality’s sake. Haha)

The visions when she touched the lightsaber were all from the outside, and mostly of events and people she had never witnessed in person. Even the flashback to being left behind on Jakku was from someone else’s point of view. It could have just been how it was edited, but she was looking down at herself, not up at the ship leaving, as if she was re-living it from her point of view. As well, the lightsaber was not present at any of those events, either, so there must be some connection between it and Rey through the Force itself. Not just ANY lightsaber, but that one in particular.

She’d had visions of Luke’s location before she’d seen it, and as they approach the island, Chewie glances at her, as if to gauge her reaction to seeing it in person.

And she is a very quick study in the ways of the Force, especially considering she thought it was all legend. I don’t know the timing of everything yet, but if she was left on Jakku around the time Kylo Ren turned dark, she was not an infant, and Luke had a whole legion of people he’d been training, so the Jedi wouldn’t have exactly been hiding at that point. They would have been known throughout the galaxy, at least of their existence. So that she picks everything Force-related up so quickly makes me think maybe she’s a tad more connected to the Force than even Luke had been when he was young and untrained.

Or born in it, like Anakin, but that seemed a bit much.

Anyway, it occurred to me that the missing piece of the map was located on the same planet as Rey, and that both needed to find their way to the Republic, and eventually lead her in particular to Luke. There’s a lot going on emotionally for both characters by the time they see one another, and I personally can’t wait to see what happens in the immediate moments following where TFA leaves off, let alone anything else that happens in Episode 8!

How many more months to go now?