Coffee with Kenobi: Ruminations: A Student of Star Wars

Over at Coffee With Kenobi Pam Bruchwalski takes a moment to think back through her own personal Star wars journey.

A ham at heart, I love a good presentation, love to tell tales, so this assignment was right up my alley. As I stood in the middle of a circle of my 30-years-younger classmates, I began with a tune familiar to anyone reading this: The Imperial March. I allowed the class to take in its grandeur for a few moments, proceeded with, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…,” and then detailed the events that eventually propelled me back into academia. The release of each of the Star Wars films roughly coincided with significant occasions in my life. In the summer of 1977, I took a trip to Europe without my family as part of the American Youth Chorus, the youngest of the 150 plus members of the group. I grew up on that trip, or started to, just as in A New Hope, Darth Vader touched a part of me who began to look inward for the truth in who I would become, who I am now. I graduated high school in May of 1980, one week after The Empire Strikes Back’s release, and in 1983 I got married the same summer of Return of the Jedi. I mark those two occasions along with episodes V and VI. By the time the prequel trilogy burst onto the scene with The Phantom Menace, I was pregnant with my fifth child. I dragged my husband and four children to the theater to see the film, and they acquiesced to my request. Child number four, my only son, accompanied me to the premiere of Attack of the Clones in 2002, and we bonded over Count Dooku’s evil and the “really cool clones.” It was also at that time that I discovered the then-fledgling Hyperspace on starwars.com. By May of 2005 and Revenge of the Sith, my heart had been broken just weeks before with the loss of my lifelong best friend to a tragic car accident. I was ready to dive into Star Wars more deeply and desperately needed to explore my connection to it. I needed to write.