What made me love Star Wars?
May the 4th be with you.
Given it's basically international Star Wars day, it's got me thinking, what happened to me when I was a child that made me love Star Wars so much?
Let's go back and explore...
The hunt for Max Rebo
I ate my way through hundreds of packets of cornflakes to collect all of 'The Return of the Jedi' stickers as a child, I think two came in each packet. Once I obtained said sticker, they would be stuck to the side of my dresser for me to admire. It took me a long time to finally track down the Max Rebo sticker, but I did it!
Year's later I'd spend hours scraping those stickers off my dresser so they could be painted. What I wouldn't give to have them all original with the clumsily placed stickers of a 6 year old Daniel.
My VHS copy of The Empire Strikes back
The Empire Strikes Back was the first movie I ever owned. And when I say owned, it was taped from the television. I replayed that film so many times as a child I actually convinced myself I wanted to train as a Jedi when I grew up.
What's worse, is that I still want to train as a Jedi, though my Dad wants me to wait just one more season - at least until harvest is over.
My Yoda Hand Puppet
When I turned five my Nana brought me a toy Yoda for my birthday. On the back of the box it showed Yoda training Luke to be a Jedi. Luke was using his lightsaber. I turned that box inside out looking for the missing lightsaber. Though once I came to terms that it was just Yoda in the box, it became one of my all time favourite gifts.
This is something I still own to this day. I don't have the box, and mine's a little faded from potentially using Yoda as drinking vessel. But you get the idea. Let's also not talk about the time I put highlighter yellow zinc on his face.
Meeting the Dark Lord
I remember my Mum and Dad taking me to Cobb & Co restaurant as a child. Any kiwi child who grew up in the 80s will tell you grand tales of 'Cobb Crunchies' and 'Traffic Light drinks' - though this particular trip to Cobb & Co was even more special because I got to meet Darth Vader! Not only do I get to meet Darth Vader, I become instant terrified. Thankfully that's slightly muted by my pastel blue Return of the Jedi sweatshirt with Ewoks on it.
Note: I'm also holding a Darth Vader action figure - there really was no hope for me.
And finally - My read-along adventures book that was probably played just as many times as my VHS copy of Empire Strikes Back. This book was my bible. It was basically my modern day internet. I would spend hours thumbing through pages from the front to back, just taking in all the scenes and costumes.
This is also where I decided that I wanted to dress like Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Black cloak, black riding boots. Sweet haircut. Green Lightsaber!
So there you have it. In honour of May the 4th. These are a few of the defining moments of my childhood that helped shaped my passion and love for Star Wars. It really makes me want to thank my parents and grandmother for enabling my inner nerd to grow at such a young age.
May the force be with you. Always.