This past Saturday marked the fourth annual Star Wars Reads Day! There were thousands of events being held all over the globe as this wide-ranging celebration is on a mission to promote literacy while uniting fans of the franchise.
I’m going, to be honest, I never knew that Star Wars Reads Day was even a thing until my editor at Forces of Geek asked me to write an article about it. Once I looked into what this event was, it resonated with me because Star Wars taught me how to read.
In Kindergarten, during recess, while my classmates vied for toys and coloring books, I made a mad dash to the cassette player and listened to a read-along version of Return of the Jedi. One day, the cassette player went missing, but the book was still there. I decided to read it myself instead of going along with the narration.
My teacher walked by and was astonished as she heard me reading passages aloud about Stormtroopers and Ewoks. She knelt down, looked me right in the eye, and said with joyous enthusiasm, “Atlee, you can read!”
At the time, I didn’t understand what the big deal was.
She handed me a Clifford book and asked me to read it so she could see if I truly knew how to read or if what I was reciting with the Star Wars book was due to memorization. My teacher acted as if she won the lottery when I began to read passages about the big red dog and his friend Emily.
I still didn’t think this was a big deal, but everyone else did, especially my parents. I was even asked to read the entire Return of the Jedi book in front of the whole class. I don’t ever remember having difficulty reading, but my mother told me otherwise.
Star Wars has produced thousands of literary tales over the years. Between books, comics, audio renditions, and magazines, these iconic characters and remarkable adventures have touched our lives.
Let’s take a look at three different versions of a story that takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…