Dear Star Wars toys I had as a kid,
I’m sorry for leaving you.
In my tween years, I was obsessed with Star Wars. My best friends and I watched a movie almost every time we hung out (usually Empire), we would romp through the woods and fight over who got to be Han Solo, but sometimes the movies and the make-believe sessions weren’t enough. Having a Star Wars adventure every day was essential, and you were always there for me.
We had such good times together. I remember the first time I saw you. Birthday and Christmas presents, Walmart, Target…it was like you were sitting there waiting for me to find you, like it was meant to be.
Bespin Han Solo, you had your swollen lats and that blaster pistol that never would fit quite straight in your hand. But we took on the Galactic Empire despite the slightly askew weapon and the multiple times you got caught in carbonite.
Award Ceremony Luke Skywalker, I remember how you could shed the vest part of your gold jacket and still had those dorky jacketed arms, but that didn’t slow you down in all your lightsaber duels.
Emperor Palpatine, who can forget when we discovered the giant foldaway sewing machine table that we used as a torture device to get intel out of the Rebel scum?
Snowy Chewbacca, I’ll never forget the great milk gallon disaster of ’06…you and Han barely made it out (RIP Stormtrooper).
And Boba Fett…you were the crowning achievement. Legend amongst the kids was that you were the rarest of finds. You came to me first in the form of Deluxe Boba Fett with that comically large rocket pack and missile that would freaking wreck fools. But then one Christmas, my sister gifted me with the original, humbler Boba Fett, and how happy I was to show my friends.
You were all there when the new toys started to show up…those Phantom Menaces. They were slick and came along with those little chips that you could scan and hear voice clips from the electronic communication device (sold separately), but you all seemed to get along despite the age disparity.
We certainly weren’t without hard times. The missing accessories…usually blasters. The tragic irreversible death by dog chewing. The jealousy I felt when I saw that kid in a Toys ‘R’ Us magazine with a huge collection of Star Wars paraphernalia that made mine look paltry in comparison.
But we still made it through. Until I decided to slowly move on.
It’s a tale as old as time, really. Boy becomes teen. Teen gets crushes on girls. Teen reaches the conclusion that crushes are incompatible with playing with toys. You collected dust for a while in the storage bin before my younger brothers started to have their own adventures at your side, but was it ever quite the same? Then you passed on to nieces and nephews…out of the house and out of my life.
Did I have the foresight to keep you in your packages as a collector’s item? Of course not, we had a galaxy to save. Did I remember to keep up with you every now and then? Sadly, based on the fact that I have no idea where you are now, the answer is no. You could be forgotten and collecting dust in an attic somewhere. Maybe you were sold in a yard sale to keep the legacy of playing with Star Wars toys alive.
I’m grown and married now, but I remember our time together fondly. If we ever reunite, I’d be all to glad to keep you around for the nostalgic value.
If I ever have kids of my own, I’ll be sure they know the joys of exploring a galaxy far, far away. The difficult parenting decision will be in which order do I introduce them to the movies (though the original trilogy still seems like the obvious choice), but it’s a no-brainer in my mind that they will have unique adventures with their Star Wars action figures like I did when I was a kid—be it a reunion with you or brand new versions of you.
Thank you for all the good times, as brief as they might have been. And may the force always be with you, wherever you are.