I grew up in a household of Star Wars fanatics, which turned me into one. Many Halloweens were spent dressed up as Jedis and Princess Leia growing up. My brother Pieter was the dedicated Jedi in the family. My family made frequent trips to the Minnesota Science Museum. The museum had a Star Wars exhibit and that was unforgettable. It fueled my love for Star Wars. I was only 12 at the time but I remember it well.             

    There is a snapshot of me photoshopped into a portrait of Padme Amidala. I had quite a set of abs in that photo, for a tween. My mom bought the original Trivial Pursuit. I can't even tell you how many times we played. At least once a game there would be an argument about part of the story line. Pieter would argue with me on ship names, and I would always sarcastically say "I don't need to know all of the fighter names, ok."

    Jawas and Ewoks are the most lovable creatures George Lucas created. I find sometimes I try to talk like them, too cute to not. For the longest time, I didn't know Liam Neeson's name. I only referred to him by his Star Wars character, Qui-Gon Jinn.

    Currently I own my own set of Star Wars movies, minus the new releases. I have the beloved original trilogy on VHS as well. How many 24 year olds do you know that own a VHS player? I think I am one of very few that fall into that category.

    In 2012, Lucas sold the rights for Star Wars to Disney. I was so furious when I found out. He created an iconic series and a whole new world of science fiction. So why give in to the large corporation? I guess the amount of money offered sufficed for him. Since selling to Disney, there have been 5 new movies and several series released. I was critical of the new films while viewing them.

    In my opinion, the originals will always be the better movies. I did not want to believe that Disney could produce good Star Wars movies. After seeing them all and re-watching a few I determined that they were decent movies. There are many plot points I disagree with, but I won't bore you with that. The Mandalorian series took off with a lot of buzz. I refuse to watch it. I’ll admit baby Yoda is cute, but Star Wars is not about cuteness. This series means a lot more to me than that.

    In The Force Awakens something tragic happened for me as a fan. Han Solo was killed by his son Kylo Ren. Han was my childhood hero, granted he is a smuggler in the series. He was the light of my childhood. Harrison Ford who played him is one of my top "eye candies." When I watched that scene, tears started streaming down my face. I'm glad I went alone, my friends wouldn't have understood. I had some clarity after I read an article on why he was killed off. Harrison Ford wanted nothing to do with the new series, so he made a request. He values the series in the same manner as me. We both thought the series should be left untouched. Who knows what Disney is going to add on to the Star Wars storyline.

    What really seals the deal on my level of Star Wars nerd is an event that transpired two years ago. I got a tattoo on my thigh of the Millennium Falcon with the famous quote "Fly Casual" underneath it. It is yet again another Han Solo quote. I had plans of expanding my Star Wars leg sleeve, but was forced to cancel due to the recent closings.

    My ringtone on my cell phone is Darth Vader breathing, and has scared a couple people when it rings. In 2019 my college years at UMC ended on May 4, coincidence I think not. So in honor of today being May 4, I wish you a day full of strength. May the Force be with you in all of your future endeavors.

    Lindsay Louters is the classified advertising manager at the Crookston Times. She is also a certified fitness trainer, and has bachelor’s degrees in animal science and ag business from the University of Minnesota Crookston.