I was first introduced to Star Wars at age 8, when the Original Trilogy was re-released on VHS. My mom, who had seen the movies in theaters when they’d first come out, saw the VHS tapes on sale and got really excited, telling me and my brother how great the movies were as she picked them up for purchase. I, on the other hand, was deeply skeptical: the movies had “war” in the title, and war was bad, right?
Fortunately, my mom ignored my concerns and plopped me and my brother down to watch the movies with her. I don’t have many clear memories of those first viewings, but I do know that by the end of Return of the Jedi, I was hooked. I watched the movies over and over, and as I got older, I started reading some of the Expanded Universe books–the Thrawn Trilogy stands out in memory as the first ones I picked up. And when the prequels came out, I went to see them all in theaters–multiple times, even as I found myself thinking that they sounded like they’d been written by someone who’d rather be doing anything else.
But after the prequels, I sort of drifted away. The prequels hadn’t captured my heart and imagination the way the OT did. The Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) games brought me back to Star Wars briefly–I was pretty active in the fandom for a while, but for some reason, I didn’t really think of myself as a Star Wars fan, even as I wrote fanfic about Jedi and smuggler pilots. It was in the Star Wars universe, sure, but I wasn’t a Star Wars fan. I was a KotOR fan, and eventually, I moved on from that, too.