I Was Bullied For Liking Star Wars

 
I was on a mission trip in the Philippines for the past 2 weeks and while there we traveled to the island of Marinduque. As I sat on the beach I scanned the horizon and saw this building. 

I immediately thought it looked like the little droid BB8 from the new Star Wars movies and quickly snapped a picture anxious to share it on a Star Wars fan site on Facebook that I follow. 


I pointed it out to my wife and friend Linda and explained what I saw. I was met with the typical response I usually get from my wife and friends; disinterest. Not because they are mean, it’s just they aren’t Star Wars fans like me. So their reaction to what I had found wasn’t surprising or upsetting to me, I’m actually used to this from people who just casually watch these movies.


When we got back to the hotel and WiFi, I eagerly posted my picture with the caption “Only Star Wars Fans Will See It” and waited for my fellow fans to enjoy what I was sharing. I checked my post a little while later and found that most of the people who had posted didn’t see what I saw. I thought that was odd, but kept going back to see what others were saying about my picture.


I was shocked to say the least, when I saw mean things being posted about me in the comments section. Several people were downright ugly about it, calling my fandom into question. I’ve been a fan since 1977 and a big one at that. To be told I shouldn’t share anything, and maybe rethink being a fan because obviously I wasn’t, was very hurtful.

I haven’t been the victim of bullying since I was in Junior High, (I’m 55 now) but it hurt, and quite a bit. Now as I said, I’ve grown accustom to my wife and friends shrugging their shoulders when I talk about Star Wars, but this was a fan site with tens of thousands of fans of the franchise. To say I was not expecting to be vilified was an understatement. It actually felt like I’d taken a punch to the gut.


As I sat there stunned into silence, I didn’t know exactly what to do. I mean these were supposed to be people like me; fans of the most awesome sci-fi story ever told. And yet, I felt as if I were an outcast, a nobody, someone who just didn’t belong. I posted about how I felt, and that it was uncalled for to treat a fellow fan this way, saying goodbye and unfollowing that account. It was better for me if I just didn’t see what anyone else said; good or bad at this point, because my feelings were hurt.

Later, as I was waiting to speak to a group of students, I was telling my wife and Linda about how I had gotten an idea of what I was going to talk about because of the way I was treated about the picture, they laughed. I had to explain, with tears in my eyes about how much it had hurt me to have been bullied like that. I told them, I was used to people who didn’t like the franchise as much as me acting as if it didn’t matter, but to have been so excited to share my love of Star Wars with other Star Wars fans and then be shot down like that was devastating.

I’m sure this is nothing to other people, but to me it was a difficult day to say the least. I know bullying happens every day, I’m sure at some point in my life I’ve even probably been seen as the bully. All I know is it was hurtful and there was no reason for people to say the things they had said. Like my mother always taught me, “If you can’t say something good, then don’t say anything at all.” This hasn’t hurt my love of Star Wars, there is nothing that will ever change that, it has been too important to me for too long, but I will always remember the day I was ridiculed by other fans and bullied and will do my best to never be like that to anyone, because it doesn’t feel good.

If you have been the victim of bullying and don’t know who to talk to, click this link https://www.cybersmile.org/advice-help/category/who-to-call there is someone there who will help you out. And if you love something, don’t let anyone ever tell you how you are supposed to feel about that, if you love it, then love it with all your heart.

For the Kingdom, and the King!


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I’m The Old Guy Who Loves Star Wars

Since 1977 I have loved Star Wars and everything involving that galaxy far, far away. Like many young men of that time period, I was able to identify with Luke Skywalker in his desire to get away from the farm. Granted I didn’t live on a farm, although I did stay with my grandparents one summer and was tasked with feeding the chickens, stupid animals and I hated it almost as much as Luke probably hated tending moisture vaporaters. I could relate with his desire to do something to change the world he lived in, even though when the opportunity arose he was a little hesitant to go with ObiWan Kenobi.

Even though I could identify with Luke, I really wanted to be Han Solo; the scruffy looking nerf herder, who despite his crusty exterior really had a heart of gold. I remember thinking the first time I saw the Millennium Falcon how it was the coolest space ship I had ever seen, and I would have given anything to been able to go aboard her; something which is going to become a reality in a few years when Disney World opens Star Wars land…and yes, it is on my bucket list.

I was sixteen when I saw Empire Strikes Back, and at the time drove a 1962 Plymouth Valiant with push button transmission. That car would go 55 miles per hour if there was a strong tail wind and going downhill. I can’t count how many times I said, “It isn’t my fault!” to my friends as we drove around Muskogee in my own hunk of junk.

Spoiler alert: I remember how shocked I was when Darth Vader revealed who he really was to Luke after defeating him in a light saber battle. There was an audible gasp throughout the theater as we all felt the horror of Luke’s lineage with him. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t the only one to say, “That’s not true. That’s impossible!” I remember it took days and a couple of more trips to the movie theater to actually begin to accept the truth that Darth Vader was Luke’s father.

The thing about Star Wars I really like is the good vs. evil aspect in the story telling. George Lucas (the creator in case you didn’t know who he is) didn’t really write anything new or even especially creative; he took themes from the stories we already knew and just gave them some new window dressing. But man, what cool window dressing it is. Add to this a mystical energy field which surrounds everything and binds the universe together along with laser swords and blasters, how could you not like these movies?

One of the greatest things I have been able to do in my adult life was take my children to the theater to see these movies on the big screen. Much like when I was younger, my kids love this incredible universe given to us by Mr. Lucas. Leading a new generation into the ways of the force is really the only responsible thing any adult can do. After all what better way to teach right and wrong, good and evil and doing the right thing even if you’re a bit of a scoundrel?

As an original fan from the very beginning, let me encourage you to pick up a copy of the movies if you’ve never seen them and binge watch them over the weekend. You’ll be glad you did. And for those of you who are fans and have been, maybe it’s time to get them back out and watch them again. It’s just a thought.

May the force be with you.