Thursday, August 09, 2007

BabelCon Installment 3: Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Darth?

Or, Why I'm Still Afraid of Storm Troopers

One of the ladies who worked the paleontology exhibit on the other side of me at BabelCon said, “You know you’re in a weird spot when you get to the point where you say to yourself, ‘Oh, there goes another Klingon,’ like it is normal.” That’s what BabelCon was like—tons of people dressed up in costumes. I enjoyed it immensely—especially because I like to look at costumes. However, I found out a very funny thing about myself.

Attending BabelCon were Darth Vader, complete with breathing mechanism, a storm trooper, a tye fighter (Star Wars fans, correct my spelling, please!), a guard from detention block AA23 (I think. Or he was one of the guys who rode the 4-legged robot things on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back)—who later turned into Anakin when his uniform got too hot, and a guard from the moon of Endor.

As the storm trooper passed me, I pulled him aside and asked him if the outfit came complete with air conditioning. I was joking. Imagine my surprise when he said that it had two fans inside. As I talked with the storm trooper, I began to notice something. My heart rate picked up. Whoa! That was weird. Then Darth Vader followed, and the heart rate picked up even more. Then I noticed that every time I passed these guys in the halls, I felt all the symptoms of fear, and I just wanted to get through the hallway quickly. Why, I asked myself, did my brain press the panic button the moment I saw these guys?

I think I know. Star Wars came out in 1977—I think. (I’ve got to be careful, because I know a whole bunch of fans are probably reading this.) That means, I was only 1 when it came out. I was basically raised on Star Wars—my dad was a huge fan. I’ve watched Episodes 4-6 so much that I practically have them memorized. I was watching these movies at the tender age of 6, 7—8 is when Return of the Jedi came out—9, 10. I was so young when Empire Strikes Back came out that all I remember is watching Vader kill yet another one of his captains. (The scene where the poor guy falls to the floor and Vader says, “Apology accepted, Captain Nida.” Or whatever his name was. I was practically deaf when I was young, so I’ve found that a bunch of names that I learned to say at a young age were wrong.) Imagine how that scene must have affected me as a little girl. Anyway, I think the instincts bread into me from watching Star Wars as a child just kind of came out. Part of my brain knew it was just Star Wars fans in costume, but the other part of me accessed the younger memories and kept saying, “Evil, evil, evil!”
Stay tuned for BabelCon Installments 4, 5 & 6!

Tags: Star Wars, storm trooper, Return of the Jedi, Empire Strikes Back, BabelCon

No comments: