Shiloh Kamrath: A Star Wars Story

So, I suppose I should start at the beginning. I was born on October 23, 1998(that makes me 17 years old by the way), and that is pretty an important factor in my star wars story. I first saw star wars when I was 6 or 7, I really can’t remember when. It’s been such a long time….well maybe not that long, but let’s not gets hung up on that. I remember that me and my friends were trying to decide what to watch and one of them said we should watch star wars(a new hope). Now, I did not want to watch star wars. I mean, I straight up had fit; I was not watching star wars. Enter, my mom, and like most mothers, she knew best. She convinced me that I really should watch the movie. Now, I kind of think she regrets what she did, but too late now for that. Needless to say, I loved it. Lucky for me there were still star wars movies coming out at that point. First, I got the special edition box set of DVD’s for Christmas, and then I watched the prequels. However, over time I slowly got away from star wars. I wasn’t really aware that there was any star wars outside the movies, so there was nothing else out there for me, and as far as I was concerned star wars was doomed to the shelf as “just another good movie”.

29c28-star-wars-the-clone-wars-group

Then, in 2008 I discovered something called the clone wars. Star wars in my life had just entered a new era. I absolutely loved the clone wars. Somehow I don’t think I can describe exactly how much I loved it. The clone wars for me were, and still are on par with the films. Some people are nostalgic about the Original Trilogy some about the Prequel Trilogy, and now there will be people nostalgic about the Sequel Trilogy. This was my star wars. The series was, in my mind a masterpiece, although I admit that I am definitely more than slightly biased. We didn’t (and still don’t) have cable TV. So each year I would have to wait an entire year to see the series. This also came out around my birthday, incidentally. So, it became my yearly star wars ritual to get this series, and then binge watch it, and continue to watch it throughout the year. Seriously, I watched this series a lot! Kind of like watching each episode 10 times a year a lot. This series basically kept my fandom alive, similar to a slow burning charcoal. However, I still didn’t know there was a larger fandom. Then in the summer 2014 I discovered Coffee with Kenobi.

Coffee With Kenobi

 

Let me backpedal here for a second. Earlier that year I had first discovered starwars.com. This was my first hint that there were people out there who were actually interested enough in star wars to discuss it. Enter Coffee with Kenobi. I first found out about them by reading a post that Dan Zehr had wrote on Starwars.com. Slowly through CWK I began to understand about the larger star wars community. It was here I first discovered that there was an EU. Imagine my shock! I then started to listen to full of sith, and finally the Forcecast. It was here that the next stage of my fandom, and the reason I am writing this now, began.

 

Sometime in mid February of 2015, I logged in to a Forcecast live stream. Now, at that time Forcecast would sometimes cancel their shows for one reason or another, and some of us wouldn’t get the news. So, there was 10 or so of us regulars, just hanging out in the accompanying chat room. The idea came up that it would be fun to have our own podcast. Emails got exchanged, and it ended up just being me and matt white still interested in the project. Neither of us had experience in having a website or podcasting. For me, I was especially new to the internet in general. I didn’t even have social media at the time, and still don’t for that, matter. But we decided to give it a shot, two weeks later we had the website up a running. We really were flying by the seat of our pants, and had no idea what we were doing. It was about this time, that I realized I had moved star wars from being just another cool movie, to something much, much more.

 


 

Our experiences with star wars shape us, and before I wrap up I would like to discuss how some of these things have affected how I see star wars. Firstly, though I watched the OT first, I am a product of the prequel-CW generation. How this matters is that the star wars that feels current to me is the republic-separatist era. Some, who watched the OT when they were growing up, feel as if the prequels are, well, prequels. Kind of Like it is not the era of star wars that feels right. Well, for me it is flipped. Star wars for me is Jedi fighting droids, not rebels fighting storm troopers. For me it is the OT that seems like a sequel. Secondly, I never read the EU. This alters my viewpoint in a couple ways. For one, I had no preconceived notions of post ROTJ. Also, the way I saw the characters on film, was all I had. I didn’t have a deeper/alternative view of them on might get from reading the EU. Lastly, Star Wars is the only Science fiction/space fantasy thing that I follow. So, when I see star wars, I don’t have bits and pieces from other fandom’s influencing how I see certain events. So, in summary, you could say star wars is my first step into a larger world.

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