Lando is coming to town, and I reflect a little on Star Wars

August 15th, 2012 | Posted by Emmett in Comics | Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Coming to a Seattle near you.

Emerald City Comic Con was the first comic convention that I went to. I've always wanted to - and continue to want to - go to San Diego Comic Con, but I've never been able to negotiate the trip. Still, I went to ECCC last year and completely fell in love with it. Though a lot different from the gaming conventions I more often frequent, it was awesome and I'm so excited for this year's. Especially now. There was a news post on the ECCC website yesterday that announced it's latest celebrity guest, and it just so happened to be Billy Dee Williams. Yes, Lando Calrissian is coming to Seattle. Probably. I mean, these lists tend to change quite a bit as we closer to the actual event date (March 1st to 3rd). For example, last year Katee Sackhoff was replaced by Christopher Judge on the list of celebrity guests. So these things happen, but they still turn out to be awesome.
his commercials are awesome

"I don't claim you can have a better time with Colt 45 than without it, but why take chances?"
- Billy Dee Williams

I think Billy Dee is a little bit different thought. For some, it might be his sound advice when it comes to beverage selection, but for me, it's because he's Star Wars. It's strange to say that Star Wars has shaped me and my life, because it's a little scary to think about how a commercial product can have that kind of effect, but it's true to an extent. Star Wars was my first real childhood interest, and it just never went away. I grew up pretending to be Han Solo, and later Boba Fett because let's face it, he's awesome. I met my first friends in elementary school because we liked Star Wars. Through those friends I got into computer games. Through computer games I met some new friends who introduced me to console gaming and LAN parties, and guess what, they all liked Star Wars. I've probably had more Star Wars centered discussions and debates than with any other topic. These were my closest friends throughout elementary school, high school, and college and they continue to be some of my closest friends today. My interests, my academic and work career, and many of my life experiences have been affected by Star Wars. It's certainly not the only thing that made me who I am today, but it's interesting to think about the impacts of something that released before I was born.
Cast reunion photo

Chewie looks pretty much the same.

And I know I'm not the only one like this, and I'm sure there are others where Star Wars has had an even more direct and meaningful effect on their life. Star Wars has a gravity and ubiquity that very few (if any) franchises have or can even hope to achieve. It's not only a staple, but it has continued to thrive and evolve in both sub cultures and the main stream. You can see it at nearly any nerd-related convention or event, and it is never considered out of place. That's a lot of power for something created solely as a source of entertainment. Still, in my mind it is becoming an old world power; you have to at least be in your 30's to have been alive when A New Hope came out. The news release from ECCC got me thinking about this with a simple fact it led me to, Billy Dee Williams is 75 now. This took a little while for my brain to reconcile. There's nothing like a little basic math and seeing your childhood heroes age to give you a clear picture of reality. That being said, I know there will be a time when even the oldest never saw any of the original trilogy in theaters (and eventually, the prequel trilogy too), but I wonder if there will ever be a time when Star Wars isn't relevant. I hope not, things just wouldn't be same without it.

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