How Star Wars almost killed me (more than once)

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulMay 04, 2023 | 00:00

How Star Wars almost killed me (more than once)

On this May 4th, as Star Wars fans all over the world commemorate this beloved franchise, it's a great time to reflect on how the iconic space saga has impacted our lives in countless ways. For a certain individual in particular, it has been the source of both danger and redemption, as recounted through a series of close calls and a lifetime of fandom.


Star Wars Day, celebrated annually on May 4, is a testament to the enduring cultural impact of the beloved space opera. It serves as a commemoration of the franchise's mythology, characters, and storytelling legacy, as well as a tribute to its passionate and devoted fan base. 

Photo: Getty Images

Star Wars has transcended the boundaries of traditional film and entertainment, becoming a cultural touchstone that has shaped and influenced generations of viewers worldwide. Through its rich world-building, iconic music, and unforgettable characters, Star Wars has inspired creativity, imagination, and critical thinking, igniting a spark in the hearts of fans young and old. 

Photo: Getty Images

Star Wars Day is a reminder that the Force is strong in all of us, and that the enduring legacy of the franchise is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling to inspire and connect people from all walks of life.

In a galaxy not so far away, a young Padawan's curiosity and love for Star Wars led to some close calls and uncomfortable experiences. As the world celebrates May 4th, this Padawan reflects on the profound impact that the epic space opera has had on his life, and how it continues to inspire and unite fans across the galaxy.


The first I knew was when it almost killed me. 

When I was about five years old, I had already grown fascinated with my father’s DVD collection. It was an awkwardly constructed piece of furniture, the DVD rack. It stood vertically erect, almost ten feet tall, nearly grazing the ceiling of our apartment.

My father made sure to keep all his prized possessions out of the reach of meddlesome hands. Little did he know that a ten-foot climb was not nearly enough to keep me from my goals: to reach the summit and get my hands on the DVD set with the cool looking laser-swords and masked man on the cover. 

As a curious, womp rat-sized creature scaled this massive tower full of DVDs with surprising aplomb, the next thing my mum heard from the other room was a deafening crash, one she now claims could be heard “in a galaxy far, far away”. What she was greeted with as she came running to the room was an avalanche of DVD’s, underneath which was a faint rumbling. 

As she yanked me out of the debris, she set her eyes on the DVD rack, aghast, as it lay horizontally spread across the room. Not only had I managed to unwittingly correct the axial design flaw in the piece of furniture but lo and beyond, I had successfully procured the aforementioned cool-looking DVD case in my arms.


And that fleeting moment of ecstasy was soon interrupted by mum’s screams however, for now that I had miraculously survived my head getting caved in by a poorly designed piece of furniture, it was now time for me to defy death once more by escaping the wrath of her thrashings. Dank farrik.

The next came many years later.

School had always been a task for me; especially so at the onset of middle school. Through some misplaced sense of self-gratification, the jocks from the school football team made it their lives’ objective to harass those who didn't have an affinity for sports. The only reason I was on the team was because I loved playing football and thus it was easier for me to dissociate from those unsavoury activities with that ghastly group of nerf-herders. That is, until they hit too close to home. 

One fine day after coaching, a couple of my friends and I were squealing in delight over the announcement from the previous evening. We couldn't believe that we were going to live to see our most beloved film series in the theatres for the very first time. Along came the jocks, overhearing our excitement; to pick on the unsuspecting geeks. Instinctively, I tried to intervene, only to be met with the crude Hindi for “Star Wars fans are ($&%$#)”. 

What followed was evidently very un-Jedi-like of me and before I knew it a muddy football boot flew through the air and splattered on one of the assailant’s jerseys. It was a moment of clarity for me because it really moulded how my friends and I would come to approach being bullied and harassed for years to come. “Nerd!” they’d shriek. “Loser!” they’d exclaim. But we’d wear all these names as a proud badge of honour. Of course, the group of us were thrashed senseless shortly after at the hands of the jocks, but it was nothing we weren't used to already.

Before I knew it, it was too late.

After nearly being hit by a bus while crossing the road to hail our Uber, the stakes had never been higher. As the sun began to set across the busy Okhla horizon, my friends and I were in a frantic rush as we left Comic Con to catch the evening show. 

Here at the end of a journey so close to my heart, it seemed almost absurd that Star Wars could ever end. And yet as the credits rolled later in the evening and the group of us were reduced to a pool of tears (with a few grunts and scoffs thrown in for Episode IX-related reasons), it became apparent that Star Wars had unconsciously occupied a portion of my identity that offered me hope, solace and an inextricable warmth when I most needed it.  

It seems the Force had already left its indelible mark on me. Even though my preoccupation with Star Wars had nearly gotten me killed on more than one occasion, I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world.

L-R: Kylo Ren, Master Qui-Gon, Master Kenobi, Master Windu, Master Yoda and Force-ghost Anakin at the Star Wars Episode IX premiere

Happy Star Wars Day and May the Force be with you, always.

Last updated: May 04, 2023 | 00:00
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