November 23rd, 2010


For the young sci-fi fan

Dear Katie,

I want you to know that I am a girl, and I love Star Wars.

I have loved Star Wars since I was about six years old, close to your age. I'm 37 years old now, and I still love Star Wars.

When I was a little girl, they just started selling movies that you could take to your house and keep. Before that, you could only watch movies at the movie theater or if it was on TV. You couldn't even record anything on TV; you had to watch it live. But when we could finally buy movies, the very first movie that my dad bought for me and my brother and two sisters was Star Wars.

We watched it over, and over, and over again. We learned every single line to the movie, and we would pretend that we were in the movie when we played together. My brother and I would play that game for years, adding characters as more movies came out. We wanted to become Jedi knights, and we'd practice using the force every day. I had very long hair then, and I'd sometimes try to put my hair up like Princess Leia. I looked a little different than she did, because I also wore glasses, but it was still fun to pretend.

My mother bought us Star Wars themed Dixie Cups when we had a lemonade stand, and we were very happy to learn the names of all the people in the Cantina bar.

I also had a Star Wars lunch box when I was your age! We didn't have water bottles back then, but we did have thermoses. Mine had Yoda on it.

As I grew older, more Star Wars movies came out. I went to see them all in the theaters. I remember being a little scared of Yoda the first time I saw him during Empire Strkes Back. My best friend, who was my age, was also a big Star Wars fan. She would sometimes play Star Wars with me and my brother. Her brother had a really big collection of action figures, and she and I would sometimes sneak in his room to play with them. He had the Darth Vader carrying case. It was pretty cool. I remember that she got to see Return of the Jedi a few days before I did. And I was so jealous that I made her tell me EVERYTHING about it. I went to see it a few days later.

My brother and I read all of the books that came out, and we watched the Star Wars tapes over and over and over again, until the tapes were so worn, we had to buy new ones. I bet if we had to, we could recite every line from the movies by heart. I liked the books because there were a few more girls in them.

In 1999, when I was 26 years old, I stayed up until midnight to watch the first airing of The Phantom Menace. I did the same for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. My brother, who also loves Star Wars went with me every time. Every time any of the movies come on TV, I stop to watch.

On my very first date with my boyfriend, when I was 34 years old, we got into a lightsabre duel with some other people. We won! And we keep the lightsabres in our house, just in case anyone ever challenges us again. I'm very happy that he loves Star Wars, too.

I think that my wedding cake will have lightsabres on it.

I got to meet the man who played Chewbacca this year. He was very tall. I got to watch the man who played Darth Maul show some other Star Wars fans how to fight properly with lightsabres. He was very good at flipping around.

Katie, I know a lot of other grown up girls who are Star Wars fans. Some of them are teachers. Some of them are doctors. Some of them are scientists. Some of them like to make art. Some of them own their own businesses.

I'm a lawyer. I work in a tall building, and I sometimes wear a suit and go to important meetings. But I have a Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head right next to my computer on my desk, so everyone who comes to visit me in my office knows that I'm a Star Wars fan.

I am very glad to hear that there are girls like you who are Star Wars fans. It is so important to me, that I want it to be important to other people too.

I hope all the letters you are getting are helping you feel better about your water bottle. And I hope that you continue to love Star Wars as much as you do now. It's a great series.