The Circle is Now Complete


For me, a journey that began in 1977 ends today. The circle is now complete.

Here’s the first Star Wars item I ever owned, and I read it even before I was able to see the movie. It’s one of the most nostalgia-loaded things I possess. What was your first piece of Star Wars memorabilia?

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  • Anonymous

    I said:>> I know, I know, “we don’t need ccm, they are all a bunch of no talent hacks that couldn’t make it in the real world!” That is a debate for another time…<<

    Jeffrey Overstreet said:Hmm. I don’t think anyone here has come even CLOSE to saying that.

    Jeffrey Overstreet also said on May 31st 2004 @ 6:28 PM Christian artists who know they don’t have what it takes in the “quality” department have figured out that if they release their music in the CCM industry, then, relative to the other music in that industry, they’ll actually come out sounding pretty good.

    If these Christian artists that you are refering to don’t have it in the “quality” dep. and they still sound pretty good compared to the other artists in the industry, how bad is the rest of the industry. I think that my “no talent hacks” comment would fit with your description.

  • Anonymous

    the cubicle reverend said:We finally started getting current with bands like Supertones or The Blamed and now Over The Rhine and Pedro The Lion.

    The Supertones were only a few years behind the “ska” infusion in the secular music scene. The Blamed….please. Over the Rhine and Pedro the Lion are both great, but the aren’t recent additions to Christian music. both of those band have been around for quite some time.

    Adam Walter said:Your evaluation of Petra and “a lot of bands in CCM” is just as negative as any of the other comments you’re pooh-poohing, fella.

    My evaluation of Petra is negative? A band of Petra’s prominence retires and all people can say is “they stuck around too long.” So what? They enjoyed making music. Criticize them for that if you have to be critical, but at least mention some of the things that they accomplished. And if you can’t think of anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. Honestly, if were not a fan of theirs to begin with, why take the time to discuss the matter.
    Secondly, Adam Walter, there are a lot of bands in CCM that are terrible, in my mind. But there are many bands that would not have been given a chance if it had not been for bands like Petra. I’m not saying that these bands couldn’t have made it in the secular business, but many of them would not have made it through the door back in a time when you did not talk about Christ or even spiritual issues. Unless you were very vague with your lyrics.

    Finally, I’m not upset that people don’t like Petra, that really doesn’t suprise me. What bothers me is that here is a band that did what it could, made the music that they enjoyed and lasted 30 years and all we can do is make jokes.

  • Brandon

    FWIW, I posted something sympathetic on my blog about CCM. You can read it here: http://wwwbrandonsblog.blogspot.com/

  • Adam Walter

    Anon. said: Do we really need the snide comments? . . . .let’s not throw Petra under the bus just because a lot of bands in CCM are terrible. Or because they stuck around longer than they should have.

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Your evaluation of Petra and “a lot of bands in CCM” is just as negative as any of the other comments you’re pooh-poohing, fella.

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    The sad thing is I completely forgot all about them.

  • sg

    All I can say is, “Petra’s still around?!” and then I will assume a heavy metal position, shake my fist and scream, “Just like Judas’ kiss!”

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    No effense, but I wouldn’t say any of those bands did anything to help christian music. If anything they, quite literally, set things back 10 years. They didn’t realize hair bands were dead and just kept going. To most people who aren’t Christian, they consider the band a joke. And I can’t say I blame them. We finally started getting current with bands like Supertones or The Blamed and now Over The Rhine and Pedro The Lion.

    Glad I can be of help John. Christian Pop Culture is a bit of a hobby. And faith based arts is a passion which is why on my sight I try to show quality work from other artists, writers, or whatever.

    Quite frankly given what you do I’m suprised you didn’t hear of this beforehand.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    >> I know, I know, “we don’t need ccm, they are all a bunch of no talent hacks that couldn’t make it in the real world!” That is a debate for another time…<<

    Hmm. I don’t think anyone here has come even CLOSE to saying that.

    I’ve just found much of Petra’s music, more often than not, to be an example of the kind of mediocrity that makes a significant portion of the Christian rock industry’s output forgettable, less than excellent, and derivative.

    >>Their motives were probably good.

    That never excuses an artists’ work from analysis and criticism.

    >>Respect them for what they accomplished, and let it go at that.

    I have some measure of respect for their early records, FWIW. As I indicated in my post.

  • Anonymous

    Do we really need the snide comments? They were a very instrumental band in paving the way for other artists in CCM. I know, I know, “we don’t need ccm, they are all a bunch of no talent hacks that couldn’t make it in the real world!” That is a debate for another time, but let’s not throw Petra under the bus just because a lot of bands in CCM are terrible. Or because they stuck around longer than they should have. Their motives were probably good. It sure wasn’t for the money and acclaim that they were getting these past few years. Respect them for what they accomplished, and let it go at that.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    LOL!!! Cubicle Reverend, thank you for saving the day! I’m going to jump on that story!

  • Adam Walter

    Wow, you mean Petra was still around? *grin*

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    If it makes you feel any better Stryper just came out with a new CD.

  • Brandon

    Oh, by the way, I wonder if this means the “demise of CCM.”

  • Brandon

    Hey, “More Power To Them.” ;-)

  • Brian Friesen

    I still own one of the first books I ever read: a first edition of Lucas’ novelization of “Star Wars.” I hadn’t seen the movie yet. The marketing folks at Del Rey seemed to be a little confused about what they had on their hands. The inside of the dust jacket summarizes the roles of the main characters with names written in bold type. Han Solo is not written in bold but Chewey is: “*Chewbacca the Pirate* and his human companion Han Solo have other ideas. Along with Luke, Ben and a pair of devoted robots, they plan a near suicidal assault on the Death Star to rescue Leia and free the universe from tyranny and oppression.” Perhaps wookies are meant to be a more essential role in the series than I thought…

  • russell lucas

    First toy: a Chewbacca action figure purchased at a Toys R Us in suburban D.C. I’m having trouble remembering the exact year, since it should have been second grade (but could it have been in first grade before the movie actually came out?). They had over a hundred Chewies. Nobody else. Just Chewie.

    Yeah, I still have him. And his bowcaster.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    My family was always poor and we couldn’t afford a lot of the SW memorabilia that we wanted.

    That is one of my big memories of growing up surrounded by the Star Wars phenomenon, too — the fact that there were so many attractive looking toys in the Sears catalogue, and my family couldn’t afford more than a few token items. A few action figures and maybe a couple of those tiny die-cast fighters, but definitely not that many action figures, and definitely not the fighters that could hold the action figures, and definitely not any of the various replicas of the Millennium Falcon or the Imperial and Rebel bases, etc. Watching E.T. at the tender age of 11, I was very conscious of the fact that Elliot’s toy collection (which included a number of Star Wars items) was underwritten by the movie’s production budget, and I wondered if his divorced mom really could have bought him all that stuff.

    For all the it’s-so-spiritual hype that these films have received over the past three decades, there doesn’t seem to have been quite so much attention paid to the ways in which they encouraged a consumerist mentality within their younger viewers — at least not in church circles, near as I can tell. But I don’t know how strongly I’d want to push an “anti-consumerist” message, since in my case at least, it would admittedly be motivated by a wee bit of envy.

  • matt

    I can’t remember what my first Star Wars item was, but the one that stands out as being the first significant item is the Star Wars #1 comic. It was the first comic I ever bought and so I recall it fondly. (Thinking about it, I might’ve bought an action figure prior to the comic, but I’ll go for the revisionist idea of the comic being first.)

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    I REMEMBER THAT SOAP!!

    (How odd, that those would be my first four words posted online AFTER seeing Star Wars Episode Three. :)

  • Julie

    My family was always poor and we couldn’t afford a lot of the SW memorabilia that we wanted. But my mom found some SW fabric and made sheets and curtains for my brother, as well as a Luke Skywalker-styled tunic.

    Then for Christmas one year, we got a box of action figures to share and that was soooo cool.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    FWIW, here’s a link to my own latest, vaguely thumbs-down thoughts on Episode III.

    What was your first piece of Star Wars memorabilia?

    I can’t remember whether I got the action figures before the 12-inch Luke Skywalker doll, which I got for Christmas, but I suspect the doll may have been first (my sister got a Leia doll that same year; they were just like Ken and Barbie dolls, only different).

    I remember buying a Hammerhead (sorry, in our p.c. world, that’s “Ithorian” now) action figure with some money my parents gave me, and then being told to go and return it because there was nothing special about Hammerhead action figures so it was a waste of my money.

    FWIW, I still have at least a few of my action figures from the original film, but they’re missing their plastic capes, which tore off far too easily.

    Curiously, I never got any action figures for the sequels, not even when I had all that paper-route money to blow on Return of the Jedi paraphrenalia; for the latter film, which came out when I was 12, I bought comics and magazines and I tracked down every single bubble gum card (and I still have ‘em, too!), but I never got the action figures.

  • Diane

    Not sure about the first, but the strangest Star Wars stuff I ever owned has to be my Luke and Leia soap. That’s right…soap with their faces on front of the bars. They were too precious to actually use, so I set them up as part of a display in this little alcove in the hallway. After I used up my Luke bubble bath and Leia shampoo, the plastic bottles, which were shaped like the characters, went into the alcove, too. My brother-in-law still jokes about my Star Wars soap shrine.

    Funny, but weird.

  • lbrodine

    Ah, my first piece of the Star Wars universe… not completely sure, I know I had the story books from the start…

    But I think it would have to be a Darth Vader action figure, with the light saber that slid up from his arm… which at age 3 and a half, I dismantled to figure out how it worked…

    A follow-up question should be, what was your most memorable Star Wars toy? I would have trouble answering that one myself, so here’s my list:

    Landspeeder
    Tie-Fighter
    Rancor Monster
    Ewok Village

    Best part about the Ewok Village is that the same model was resurrected for the “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” Tree House… yep, exactly the same…

    Jeff, hope Episode III is amazing for you. The rest of us will have to wait just a little longer to complete the journey.


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