Totally geeked out fan moments are some of the most thrilling experiences ever. Think of the overwhelming impact the first appearance of Baby Yoda had on the internet and water cooler conversations for weeks on end.
Back in 2002, little 5-year-old Tyler in the theater sat on the steps of the auditorium (a strange quirk I had when seeing movies in my younger years). Our heroes are fighting Count Dooku and losing. Slowly walking in with his cane in hand to save them was Yoda! The cheers grew as he stopped lightning with his tiny green hands. I was jumping up and down on the stairs as he drew his lightsaber.
I will never forget that theater experience and the communal feel of the Star Wars fandom was incredible. The shared experiences we have are often more profound than the media with which we are presented.
When you love something, you want to share it with others. How many of us have been the Disney fan half of a couple that wanted so badly to convince the other half how amazing Walt Disney World is? Thankfully, it usually takes one good character encounter, one magical banshee ride, or one delicious trip around World Showcase to convince anyone that every savings fund should be changed to a Disney fund. Similarly, introducing my wife Star Wars fandom, and seeing her love grow was so rewarding. Yes she’d seen the movies, but there’s something about hearing the passion and knowledge someone else has for a story like Star Wars that tends to be contagious. Diving into the Clone Wars series, seeing the movies together in the theaters, buying Funko pops of BB-8 and Baby Yoda; all of these shared experiences even made me love Star Wars more. I got to share the thing I loved with the person I love most.
Now more than ever we have a feast, a multitude, an amalgam, a plethora — whatever word you want to use to say “a bunch” of Star Wars to enjoy or get excited about in the future. We can listen to the music on any streaming platform and feel like we’re in an X-Wing next to Luke Skywalker. We can pop on Disney+ and immerse ourselves in the in-depth look of the Clone Wars or the start of the rebellion. We can go to Galaxy’s Edge and evade storm troopers with Rey. What a time to be a Star Wars fan!
Find the thing you love and run with it. If you love the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren, wear it with pride! If you love podracing, there’s space for you here! If adorable Ewoks make you squeal with joy, welcome to the club! If the ability to build a lightsaber in the middle of Florida — I mean Batuu (wink wink) — makes you say, “there goes my paycheck”, more power to you. Let us all be supportive as a fan community because there are so many people out there who love what we love, and we can share it together! Live by the words of Walt Disney, “To all who come to this happy place, welcome.”
The force will be with you. Always
My name is Tyler. I’m 24 years old and I live in Georgia with my wife, Ragan. I am a huge fan of the Disney parks after reigniting my childhood love of Disney on a trip in which I proposed! Since that 2017 trip, we have been back to our home away from home several times, and like many of you, we’re always in the pre-planning stage of a Disney vacation whether it happens or not. I have also had a long standing passion for writing ever since little 10-year-old Tyler Johnson had to be sent to a remedial creative writing class. The day writing finally clicked for me, I was hooked.