Warped at Three – My First Fandom

You wouldn’t think that a three-year-old could be a fangirl, but I was. Not too long after my third birthday (July, 1977) I was forever changed. I became a fangirl and my fate was sealed. Why? My parents took me to see Star Wars: A New Hope  in the theater.

My first memory is of Darth Vader. No, seriously, the Dark Lord of the Sith is the first thing I actively, clearly remember. My mom says that when he came onscreen, I stood up in my seat and didn’t sit down for the rest of the film.

Everything flows from that frozen moment in time, from that movie as a whole, really. I always wanted to be Princess Leia. However, the character I think with whom I most identify is probably C-3PO. Although… thinking about it, I can see pieces of my personality in all of the main characters.

Is that because the movie, the story and the people, were so powerful that they imprinted on my psyche? Or is it because the seeds were there and on some level I recognized them, even at such a young age? I tend to believe it to have been a combination of the two.

If solely the first option, why would I have gleaned my strongest traits from the least desirable direction? If the second, why would my strongest initial reaction not be to the character with whom I have the strongest resonance? Of course, with the release of Episodes I-III, we find out that Vader created C-3Po… but that was something my three-year-old self could not have known.

What about you? What fandom has shaped you in a profound way? What characters seem to mirror your strongest traits?



  1. Can you have “fandom” if it’s not sci-fi? I fell in love with scary movies at a very early age. I vividly remember seeing Jaws 3-D in the theatre and loving every minute of it. I’ve never turned back – I can’t get enough of scary movies. That’s one reason why I write my blog series The Boo Factor.

    I also fell in love with Nancy Drew. I wanted to be her – I read her books all the time and I actually feel like she may be the reason why I write YA mystery.

    Fun fact – I have an original, mint-condition, R2D2 toy chest that my parents bought at Sears years and years ago. My nephews store toys in it today at my mom & dad’s, but my mom understands clearly that once I have a child, he’s coming here. 🙂

    • Gigi Salem said

      fandom can be anything you love (https://gigisalem.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/what-is-fandom/)

      so yes, fandom can be other than sci-fi 😀 for example? my major fandom is a band fandom: Duran Duran

      I can’t watch too many scary movies, but I adore the Nightmare on Em Street films and just about any zombie film you put in my path.

      Nancy Drew is a great fandom, I should think. So many creative people have come from loving those books, you know? They made you think while you were being entertained, and didn’t talk down to you.

  2. Daniel said

    It wasn’t until I was much older than 3. (however, I still may not be 3 yet, depending on who you ask.) But my biggest fandom was the Cat from Red Dwarf. He’s still my roll model, and the reason I’m modest.

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