Friday, 3 February 2012

How The Force Can Be Strong Within You

Written by Kate Walker 3rd February 2012

As we officially launch our Star Wars Gold Heart for 2012, Georgia explains how she was taken into the spell cast by the historic sci-fi saga.
"How did I get so Sci-fi? How did I come to want to write books about other galaxies and alien civilisations?

Well, you could take it back to the day my mum took my two stinky brothers and I to watch this film – Star Wars. There was a buzz around it, it was something different, and everyone was talking about it. I sat down as the music began to play and those (now immortal) words rolled up the screen ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…’ Now at age five, in all honesty, I couldn’t read those words, but my mum told me what they said. Then, a small spaceship appeared, and I was transported with it into the night sky. But the best was only a second away. Darth Vader’s enormous ship rumbled onto the screen and just swallowed Princess Leia’s ship right up! At this point I was jumping in my seat, along with every other child and adult alike, but nothing could have prepared us for Darth Vader’s first appearance on-screen. It felt natural to boo him; I was a pantomime girl. The cinema filled with the echoes of cries every time he graced the screen. Had George Lucas intended for us to hate this man with such passion? Who can say? But it worked.
I left that film and it changed my life.

I fell in love with Han Solo. Then Flash Gordon, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, and all of the super heroes I could get to see on TV. Planet of the Apes and the Hulk made up my week. Champion the Wonder Horse and Zorro filled my head. I was unequivocally a geek! So it really is no wonder that I write about a female heroine from another galaxy.

When my daughter was seven, I went out and brought all six Star Wars DVD’s and introduced her to my world. Fingers crossed, she would feel the same way as me, and she did. The next generation of Star Wars love was well underway.

Recently I was at the London Comic-Con and someone told me Anthony Daniels was signing autographs. I asked them, were they sure? Because that was C3PO! Not a comment to be taken lightly. He was indeed standing in the memorabilia section and a queue of fans had gathered. I joined them in a haze of excitement and the surreal feeling of being five all over again stole over me.
As I got closer to this metal god of the silver screen, my eyes kept filling up, and I fought back the tears. Now as a writer, I have talked ‘Star Wars’ to the thousands of children I have met. It connects me with them and their teachers, instantly bonding us and opening the paths of communication. Reaching the man himself, I had a lump in my throat as I passed him a copy of my book and asked him to sign it for the children to see. He smiled and wished me luck and we had our picture taken.
I walked away feeling like I had been with an old friend. Someone whom I hoped knew how much he meant to so many. I sometimes wonder if George Lucas knows how profoundly his story changed my life, or that of millions of others young and old.  What I do know for certain is that “The force will be with me always.” 

Georgia is also swapping her pen for pounding the streets of the capital city, as she is running the London Marathon for Variety, the Children's Charity. To support Georgia and Variety, please visit her fundraising page by clicking here.

The badge will also be available in the U.K at Odeon Cinemas, Cineworld Cinemas, The Star Wars Shop (in stores and online), H Samuel, the Leeds Building Society and DeVere Venues. 

The Star Wars Gold Heart is also available online - download and display on your Twitter and Facebook profiles by clicking here.

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