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Friday, August 19, 2016

A Life- Changing Event In A Galaxy Far, Far Away... #StarWars #scifi

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. I had to think long and hard about this post. I'm a believer in alternative timelines and parallel universes, that every decision we make in life - even the small ones - changes the path we take while another version of ourselves is sent down another track. So for me, even a minor decision can be potentially momentous, creating multiple alternative possibilities in time and space, and a concept I've used in my time travel series.
But before I get too sucked in by the theory of alternative universes... I think most people have a least one significant and life changing experience. Not long ago I wrote about my near death experience, so I didn't want to go over that one again - it was terrifying but surprisingly didn't prompt any big changes in my life other than relief that I survived it. My marriage, the death of my mother when I was 19, the birth of each of my children - all have had an impact, and probably the most major.
But I've decided I want to talk about something that changed my life as an author and led me to write what I write. It might seem somewhat frivolous to some, but for the the eight year old me it was transformational.
The opening to Star Wars: A New Hope when it was first shown on TV. I'd never seen it. Never heard of it. With Christmas coming up it was a special premier in the days when you had to wait years for films to reach TV, and videos were still an expensive luxury. That explosion of music, the novel scrawl of a written prologue, then a tiny spaceship pursued by one that swamped the screen with weapons blazing...I'd never seen anything like it before. I was instantly transfixed.
Despite being a life long Whovian (my parents were fans, and I can remember the first episode I ever saw - Planet of the Spiders - when I was just three years old), until that point I had been writing fantasy. I was still in love with the elves of Tolkien, young Garion of the Belgariad saga by David Eddings, and the magic of the Shannara trilogy. Spaceships came a poor second to unicorns, and blasters to swords and magic stones.
Until the day I saw that opening. Everything changed. It was like being able to step into one of those alternative universes, where there were still knights but they wielded mind powers instead of magic and lightsabers instead of metal swords. I. Was. Hooked. I was also deeply in love with the main character - Luke Skywalker - a crush that is still with me to this day (though maybe not quite so deeply, lol). I wanted to be a Jedi, wield a lightsaber, convince my parents that it wasn't bedtime yet with my mind powers, and zoom around a galaxy far, far away in my very own X-Wing.

That passion has never left me. I switched from writing fantasy to a version of Star Wars, then onto space opera and scifi of my own. Though many years later I went back to my Whovian roots and wrote a time travel romance that became my debut publication, the thrill from that first view of Star Wars has never left me. I felt it again when I saw The Force Awakens at the cinema this Christmas just past - almost thirty six years to the day after seeing it the first time - with Disney staying loyal to the fanship by retaining the films iconic opening. Even thinking about the music and the script crawling up the screen can set me bouncing in my seat. It was the same excitement I felt when I was lucky enough to attend the three day Star Wars Celebration Europe in London less than a month ago, and where I got to see my childhood crush in person (even if I didn't get close enough for a photo).



Right now I'm reworking what I call my Star Wars story - Gethyon - having got the rights back so that I can re-release it in September. While it has elements from my time travel series to which it's connected, this is the one most loyal to my love of Star Wars: a young man who feels out of place in the universe, struggling to manage the powers he discovers and to face his responsibilities instead of running away. I can't wait to put it back out!
Somewhere out there may be an eight year old me who didn't get to see that film and have her life changed forever. I'm just glad that one isn't me!
Want to chat? Find me on Twitter as @pippajaygreen where I'll talk all things geek, books and chooks (and other things beside).

3 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

I was lucky enough to attend a private screening of Star Wars-The Force Awakens when it first came out. Being in a movie theater was magical!!! I still talk to myself with my Yoda-self. The concept of there is no 'trying' only 'doing' is a powerful one. I have the original VHS tape of the first three movies and still have a VHS player. Reading this reminds me it's been awhile since I've seen them.

Have you kept up with the series? I must admit I've not seen any of the more recent movies. And the first movie is still one of my all time my favorites.

Pippa Jay said...

I have all seven films on DVD, including the original unadulterated trilogy box set and the Dark Side version of The Force Awakens. I have to admit none of my SW obsessed monsters likes the prequels any more than I do, but TFA is a big favourite. I haven't watched the animated series of Star Wars Rebels as we only have the standard TV stations...which haven't had Rebels yet. We do have all the LEGO film versions though - my youngest loves them.

Sarah Raplee said...

I only remember who I saw a film with for a few films. Winnie the Pooh Meets Tigger and the Love Bug was a double feature at a drive-in theater on my first date with my husband. (I've always been a Pooh fan.) West Side Story with my brother and sister was the first movie I saw in a theater that wasn't a drive-in (when I was 9.) The first Star Wars movie with our friends Butch and Wynona in Sitka, Alaska. Best. Movie. Ever.

Yes, I'm a major fangirl, and those movies showed me how magical a film can be. Definitely a life-changing event!