Oh man, it's difficult to even know where to start on this - and I can't wait to hear others' stories. As an '80s kid, my first experiences of the 'Wars came a little later than most. I first saw A New Hope
and The Empire Strikes Back
as a televised double-feature on Easter Weekend in '96. I'll always regret having missed the initial release of the original trilogy, but that year was a great time to first come to the saga. Star Wars was just hitting stores again with the new Power of the Force
, Micro Machines
, and Action Fleet
lines - and those toys became a defining part of my childhood. A few months later we'd see the release of the Shadows of the Empire
multimedia project (still my favourite part of the EU), and within a year Star Wars would be back on the big screen with the Special Editions.
The last big event I attended would have been the Clone Wars
toy release at the Wellington Toyworld back in '08. It was my first real time encountering other Star Wars fans / collectors - and I was prepared for the worst. But there was no stampede or bun-fight. Instead, everyone acted with consideration and real concern for making sure everyone got what they were after. My favourite Star Wars memories will always be random displays of kindness like that. A while back I did a blog post on a few of my favourite moments
- but I think my fondest will always be when KFC ran their Episode I promotion of six different toys over six consecutive weeks. I dutifully went in each weekend, purchasing one of their "Bucket Head" kids' meals and adding a new toy to my collection. Unfortunately, on my sixth visit, I discovered that the final toy had only been given a limited release and randomly distributed throughout the previous weeks. It looked like my collection was going to remain incomplete. For the staff member serving me, however that simply wasn't good enough. He searched high-and-low throughout the store before finally finding one of the toys unwrapped and set up as a display piece on his manager's desk. He nabbed it, and passed it to me with a conspiratorial wink.