Fully Operational Fandom: Being Grateful for Star Wars

StarWars.com contributors discuss what Star Wars means to them -- and we want you to join the conversation.

Episode I - Anakin, Padme, Qui-Gon, Jar Jar eating

Gratitude. It’s an important word, but a word most of us don’t consider often enough. We can all use an occasional reminder to give thanks, and in the United States, we have Thanksgiving. And when it comes to Star Wars, there are so many new stories on the horizon that fans have a lot to be grateful for. I talked to my fellow StarWars.com contributors from around the world (well, the United States and Europe) about what they’re thankful for in regards to Star Wars.

Mark Newbold:
I could write all day about why I’m grateful for Star Wars. It’s a place to escape to when real life gets tough, a playground for my imagination, somewhere I can express myself often far better than I can anywhere else. I’ve made lifelong friends across the UK and far beyond and traveled halfway around the world and into Europe on some amazing adventures. I’ve interviewed some legendary actors, crew, producers, and directors and spent almost 20 years running websites thanks to Star Wars, not to mention almost a decade on Star Wars Insider.

Bryan Young:
More than anything, I’m thankful for the catharsis and moral center Star Wars has provided me, and the friends it has given me over the years. Without Star Wars, I’m not sure where I’d be and I can’t even imagine what my life would be like. Just about every person in my life that’s stuck around and been there for me I met because of Star Wars. I really don’t know who I’d be without it. It’s gotten me through all the toughest times and I know it’ll be there to do more of that in the future, too.

Sander de Lange:
Here in the Netherlands we may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but I have many things to be thankful for ever since discovering the Star Wars saga. From meeting many amazing people, most of whom became friends, to great professional opportunities and being constantly inspired creatively, so thank you Star Wars and happy Thanksgiving to everybody who celebrates this day!

Star Wars The Force Awakens Poster

Dan Zehr:
I am grateful for the anticipation of a new Star Wars film, and what that means for me: the excitement and anticipation of the theater experience, the new merchandise to add to my collection, and the opportunity to analyze the film, as well as the Star Wars universe, with this amazing community of fandom through Coffee With Kenobi and social media. I have met so many wonderful people thanks to the saga, and it means the galaxy to me. But most importantly, it is the excitement this new generation has brought to my children and how they express it to me.

Tricia Barr:
“There is another Skywalker.” That was the moment I realized the endless possibilities for Star Wars. Since then, I’ve had a dream to see a woman at the center of a heroic journey. Over three decades later, my excitement at knowing that dream will be coming true — in a movie! — is at an all-time high. On Thanksgiving, I plan on saying a little prayer of gratitude for Kathleen Kennedy taking on the monumental task of bringing the galaxy far far away to a new generation of fangirls and fanboys, and for George Lucas asking her to.

Star Wars Fans

James Burns:
As a Brit I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving although that doesn’t stop me for being thankful so many things. I’m thankful to my wonderful, loving, and supportive wife and children for allowing me to travel the galaxy for all things Star Wars. I’m also thankful to those I’ve met on those travels, many of whom who I’m proud to call my friends — people I can rely on, and will go out of their way to help and further our passion. Star Wars is unique, as are its fans, and I’m incredibly thankful to be part of this amazing community.

Jason Fry:
I’m giving thanks for the amazing diversity of storytelling we’ve seen recently, from books (for all ages) to comics, video games, and TV. I pinch myself every day that I get to write Star Wars, and remind myself to create a story that puts the John Williams music in a reader’s head. As an enthusiastic reader and fan myself, enormous thanks to all the creators who’ve let kept me hearing that theme loud and clear this year.

Holly Frey:
Star Wars has given me much to be thankful for. It’s a huge part of the bond I share with my husband. I met my best friend on a Star Wars costuming forum and have met so many other friends because of our shared love for the Star Wars universe. And I have been ceaselessly inspired by the franchise in terms of creativity. Star Wars enriches my life and my imagination in a way that nothing else has ever come close to, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

As for me, I’m thankful for all the wonderful people I’ve met because of a mutual appreciation for Star Wars and for stories I never get tired of watching or reading. The Star Wars universe is one where I feel at home and comfortable, and I feel lucky I have it to escape to.

Head to the comments and tell us what about Star Wars makes you feel grateful.

Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek and keep up with all things geeky at her blog.