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Why George Lucas Got So Much Of My Money


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I recall a Saturday years ago, when I awoke at 6:30 a.m., far earlier than I usually got out of bed on the weekend. I dragged myself through my morning routine and to my best friend’s place to embark on a journey that would take us from Sugar City to Sun Valley and back again, an epic voyage for my buddy’s little Pontiac Le Mans.

The goal: To obtain a “Star Wars” Slave Leia figure, a toy that everybody and their protocol droids were seeking. The journey was not fruitful. We ended up getting nothing out of the trip but a meal at Shorty’s Diner in Hailey, where we learned we had missed seeing Bruce Willis play with his band the previous night. Total bummer, dude.

I’ve often wondered why we undertook that journey that day. Our excuse back in the day was that we figured Sun Valley was an undiscovered treasure trove of “Star Wars” merchandise. As time has passed, I’ve pondered the psychological underpinnings that drove me to waste so many similar days (not to mention a whole ton of money) looking for children’s playthings.

Why do we collectors feel the need to collect?

Copious amounts of scientific research has been poured into the “how’s” and “why’s” that drive collectors. Theories abound, some that make a sense and others that are absurd. Freud postulated the need to collect springs from feelings of lost control associated with flushing your “possessions” during toilet training.

Other researchers theorize that collecting represents an expression of existential anxiety, as collectors endeavor to assemble a collection that will live on after they die, granting them a measure of immortality.

I think it’s simpler that that. I wasn’t aware of a desire to throw together a collection that would outlive me and I definitely wasn’t thinking about how potty training broke my heart. But I can recall a few emotions that drove me to bear down in my pursuit of “Star Wars” collecting glory.

I recall a sense of accomplishment that flooded over me when I found a piece I was looking for. I felt such pride when I acquired a cool new “Star Wars” trinket. It was more powerful than any feeling I ever felt with the possible exception of when I asked a girl out and she said “yes”. The harder the piece was to find, the more pride I felt in acquiring one.

I also recall having the thought that I was using collecting as a salve to heal scars caused by being bad at socializing. I was especially bad at dating, so I bought myself toys to fill the hole in my life left by the lack of girlfriends. It never worked, but it did provide a brief respite from the pain of being lonely. And it was less destructive to my brain cells than heavy drinking.

I think the main reason I loved collecting so much is that it gave me a way to bond with my best friend. We spent hour upon hour in the car together, driving from store to store in search of the latest, greatest items. We talked about girls, life, movies, music and everything else under the Sun.

I was too uncomfortable to go out and socialize, so collecting trips gave me an excuse to interface with a friend in an environment where I felt safe. I still miss that aspect of my weekly collecting trips. I haven’t had that kind of friendship with anyone else since I stop collecting “Star Wars” stuff.

These days, I still collect stuff, though not as voraciously as before. I have tee-shirt collection that is slowly taking over the basement. I still collect the occasional physical CD or DVD. I’m a dinosaur like that. If I had the cash, I know I’d amass the biggest, baddest collection of guitars and guitar gear I could manage.

I doubt there will come a time where I give up collecting but I hope for that. I’d like to fill the hole in my soul with something more substantial than comic books and movies.

Thanks to Fat Cats in Rexburg for providing screenings for movie reviews on