I meant to do a post about Force Friday as an attempt to do a Nerditorial revival. For those that care, the nerditorial idea is a just an intended weekly post about different stuff I like to talk or be obsessed about. Force Friday was a marketing event planned some time ago and announced back in this past May. It was September 4th and many stores did things like open at midnight to showcase and sell the new star wars merchandise.
Now, I’m a huge star wars fan, so I had to go. Of course having no job is a tad bumming. Luckily, my birthday was within the following week and my mom had the great kindness to give me cash for this event. Yes, I know how much like a child I sound. No, I give zero effs. So yeah, the 3rd came quickly and I rounded up a friend to do this with. We went to Target first, knowing that they were doing a raffle for this huge plush of Chewbacca.
We stand in line for an hour. Talking a little trash about how these people are here and some are more on the hype train than the star wars fanatics. Like it’s just a thing for them to do. At first I feel a tad offended hearing some of the comments rolling around, displaying clear and painful star wars ignorance. Then I remind myself, we can all love star wars differently and to different extents.
A guy stands in front me. He’s been largely quiet. It’s now about 10 minutes until the line to select merchandise starts moving. I point to his amazingly rad jacket and whisper praise to my friend, or at least I did when we first got there. It was a leather varsity type jacket. It had little button-LED like nubs on it. The title stitched in the upper left corner of the image read “Return of the Jedi” and it featured a TIE Interceptor chasing an X-Wing. there was an explosion featured near the Interceptor.
Anyway, the Target employee says how excited he is for the new star wars film and merchandise and that he and his team have been waiting all week for this event. Blah blah, get to the good stuff. The crowded line starts up chatter.
“What are you most excited for?”
“The new movie is gonna be so sick!”
“Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is so badass.”
I indulge some of the comments. While I disagree with others, I know Star Wars can be something great to everyone, even if what I like is different.
The guy in front of me turns around.
“Hey, check this out.” and he thumbs at the image I kept being hypnotized by. The stars twinkle. I knew it! LEDs!
“Yeah? What about this?”
And lasers emit from the interceptor in a pattern to show it’s path and movement. Hadn’t caught those, so awesome.
I probably looked like I was ready to drown in a pool of my own drool.
That aside, we have some light conversation for a bit. I start getting really excited. We eventually make it to the front of the line while we wait on the other shoppers, we can stare into the area we are about to ravage. The new lego X-Wing set, Poe’s X-Wing catches my eye. I want it so bad, but that would be virtually all my gift money, plus the coupon at target wasn’t valid on legos, so despite making me salivate, the thought gets filed away for a later date. I see the black series figure vehicles on the end cap. And the pop vinyl figures on a display. I make note of the of other black series stuff I had an interest in.
Then we’re told we can go. I make a stunted rush toward the pops at first. Then I spin to the right, almost whipping into a person also staring excitedly at the pops. I dart to the end cap. All the vehicles are there. And much cheaper than I thought. I start trying to gather one of each. manage to get 8 of the 10. Then I hop back to the pops. Start collecting one of every type.
“Crap. I should have got the ones that had only one left first.” I tell my friend afterr seeing the last stormtrooper and BB-8 droid snapped away in front of me. I had prioritized them lower since they weren’t characters I was super interested in. I reach for the last Captain Phasma and a guy to my right says he saw it first. Also the guy who took the last BB-8 droid. I hesitate. My hand was on it first, but I can always find it later. I retreat and offer it to him.
“You reached for it first bud. I may have seen it, but I think we all did”
“Thanks man, you got the last droid too. So, we’re even… or something.” I smile to show my gratitude.
I picked up a 6″ black series of Kylo Ren before determining my trip was done. I waited around for the raffle of the first Chewbacca, didn’t win. Scrambled up front to check out. was 3 dollars short of getting $25 off my purchase, so I had the cashier hold my stuff while I went and searched some more. I got a 9th vehicle before heading back up.
I made it back just in time for the second raffle.
Still did not win.
A guy turns to me.
“You staying for the last raffle?” he asks.
“Yeah, that’s why I came to Target first.”
“Well. Reach in there. Grab my wallet. Don’t.” he laughs in the middle of his words “..ah don’t run off with it. If you don’t, you can have my ticket in there.”
“Whoa, really? You sure?” I asked, probably excitement dripping off me.
“Yeah, we got to go to one more place before this is done.”
I take the ticket.
He tells me good luck and leaves.
After he turns I shout “May the Force be with you”.
While I teased my friend what I would do if I won the stranger’s ticket. I told myself that if I won with his, it needed to go to one of the few kids present. It would be generosity that won it in that case, and I couldn’t feel right taking that prize home on someone’s kindness. I settled in the idea that it would mean a lot more to a kid than it would me, but still allowed me to be greedy and hopeful I would win on my own ticket.
The 3rd and final raffle ticket was called. Didn’t win. No one claimed. They shout it again, because this happened the first raffle and the lady was out of earshot, resulting in a problem. No one comes forward. They call a new number, I listen for the final three digits, the first one was off for both my tickets. I sighed in defeat, also relieved that I didn’t have to find a kid to offer chewbacca to without upsetting someone else.
We did a little more that night. But that thought of generosity didn’t leave me. That’s the person I always want to be. Even when it’s things I really, really want for myself. It’s that sort of spirit that makes the culture have the potential to be awesome and something more than just movies, books, and games. But the night ended with me satisfied for my loot. Oh so satisfied.
I want to talk some about collectibles and merchandise next time I get around to writing and working on the nerditorial. So I hope that happens soon, other than that, hope my narrative wasn’t terrible boring while also offering a bit of insight to my hapless charity.
Good night all. And may the Force be with you, Always.