Tuesday, September 4, 2012
League of Extraordinary Bloggers Weekly Theme: Back to School!
Brian is keeping it vague this week, which is fine by me as it gives me a much wider array of topics on which to focus. I thought long and hard about this one and had several ideas for what to write about, but I wanted to zero in on something specific. So, sit back and enjoy the tale of one school year when I went Return of the Jedi crazy.
Return of the Jedi was the big summer blockbuster in 1983, the year I would start 5th grade. Now, up until that point, I made jolly well sure that anyone who knew me for more than 7 minutes would walk away with a distinct understanding that I was a hardcore Star Wars fan, so it will surprise no one to know that I was pretty excited about the 3rd installment of the trilogy.
I spent that summer seeing the movie any chance I could get (managing 4 trips to the theater that year) and I bought up all of the trading cards, comic book adaptations and action figures that I could get my greedy little hands on.
By the time school started in September of '83, I entered my 5th grade year as a full-blown Return of the Jedi maniac. In fact, I went into the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping with a laser-focused determination to get as much Return of the Jedi merch as possible. And despite my mom's concerns that I was getting a little tunnel-visioned in my choices, I stayed strong and entered Blissfield Elementary as a walking advertisement for Lucasfilm. And I don't regret it to this day.
Let's take a look at some of the RotJ items I had on had that first day of school...
Yep. I walked into school that first day with a big-eyelashed image of Carrie Fisher on my chest. Even better, it was actually a baseball-style t-shirt, like the one on the right. Except mine had yellow sleeves. Hell, I can't lie, I wore that shirt until is was practically nothing but threads and Carrie's face was a dim ghostly image, faded from a year's worth of washings.
Sadly, by the time my 5th grade year ended, I would be almost completely over my Return of the Jedi obsession. My toy interests would begin to shift towards other things and then by the fall of 1984, I would leave my Star Wars fandom almost entirely for a while. I would see the Droids and Ewoks cartoons and consider them passe. I remember meeting a kid in 6th grade who would draw these super detailed drawings of AT-ATs and the Millennium Falcon and I'd think he was a tasteless nerd, clinging to a dead franchise.
Don't get me wrong, my love for Star Wars would reignite anew after high-school. But for a while there, I would look back on that kid in the Princess Leia baseball t-shirt, with is RotJ lunchbox and Darth Vader eraser and cringe.
Now I'd give a gazillion dollars to go back to that very day again, and relive every single second of it without changing one little thing.
Okay, maybe I'd pick a shirt with Jabba on it or something. But that's it.
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