It’s not news to anyone that Kevin Smith, director of Clerks, Red State, Chasing Amy, Mall Rats and several other films, is a huge Star Wars fan. Almost all of his films are peppered with references to the saga, and anyone who listens to his podcasts has a better than even chance of hearing him drop at least one reference to the films on any given show. It’s no surprise then that Smith has some very strong feelings about the new Star Wars films (He’s very excited about Disney’s role in the future of the franchise, incidentally.), and more specifically, about whether his favorite character will appear in them. Smith loves Boba Fett, and in an essay published at Hollywood Reporter, he shares a rather poignant story about the character and his childhood. Reading this, I thought about how easily I could have been one of Smith’s childhood playmates – how a series of magical movies can bring so many of us together. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from the piece, but you really need to read all of it:
Sure, I had some of the toys — but my mom was a homemaker, and my dad worked at the post office. We were a lower-, lower-, lower-middle-class family who qualified for free government cheese a couple years in a row, so the purchasing of plastic trinkets that echoed one of their kids’ favorite movies was reserved for really special occasions. Pete, on the other hand, had everything in the Star Wars line of toys: every figure ever made, every vehicle, every play set. Every summer day from 1978 to 1982, you could find me and Pete in his tiny yard, building a new Hoth or Tatooine, brushing ants off our bodies as we laid belly down in the dirt, making Luke Skywalker repeatedly kiss a girl who turned out to be his sister right before they swing from dental floss over the heads of stiff-armed Stormtroopers. It shaped me as a storyteller and as a person (you can’t save the galaxy all day long without lots of junk-food consumption).