I was always stuck being Leia. As the only girl in a neighborhood full of boys, my role in our games of Star Wars was a given, no matter how much I argued that I'd rather be Luke or Obi Wan or even Chewbacca. I didn't want to be Leia. She might've been a princess, and she might've led the Rebellion, but she had stupid hair and a dumb-looking gun, and she seemed to complain an awful lot. I wanted to be Han.

Han Solo was simply the Coolest Guy Ever. Luke was whiny and Leia was bossy, but Han was brave and charming. He had snappy comebacks, a kick-ass ship and a blaster strapped to his leg. He was a pirate, a scoundrel and a rogue, but he came through when it mattered the most. Luke might've been the one who blew up the Death Star, but it was really Han who had saved the day. I really, really wanted to be Han Solo.

I never became Han Solo. I didn't grow up having daring adventures or escaping death with a wink and a grin. I grew up worrying about grade point averages and interest rates on loans, about property values and cholesterol levels. I learned about car insurance and office politics, security deposits and tax deductions. I wanted to be Han Solo, but instead I became C3P0.

I never really liked C3P0 when I was little - let's face it, he's pretty damn annoying - but I've come to appreciate him. I still don't like him, but I understand that he's a necessary character, the voice of reason and caution in the middle of chaos. I may want to be the loveable rogue, but there's a certain nobility in being the protocol droid, too. The 3P0's of the world keep copies of passports just in case the originals get lost, have a reliable plumber on speed dial and know when you have to put money in the meter and when you don't. They may not be the life of the party, but you can count on them to get you home safely when you are. The world loves Han Solos, but it needs C3P0s.

Ponder your own Star Wars persona as you read through this week's offerings. Andrew Taylor feels "A Disturbance in the Force" that's coming from the Expanded Universe. Spanner sits atop a treasure hoard of Star Wars merchandising in "The Dark Side" while Michael Fiegel reveals in "Lazer Swords and Thundersabers" that sometimes a lightsaber is more than just a cool sword. Tim Sweeney examines Drew Karpyshyn's influence on Star Wars in "A Creative Force," and Russ Pitts reminisces about what Star Wars has taught him in "The Force Is Strong With This One."

May the Force be with you,

Susan Arendt

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