About Me

It all started in pre-school (maternal school as it is called here). I grew up in a small French-speaking town in Quebec, Canada, far removed from anything English. I was 6 in pre-school and fascinated by dinosaurs. I used to read tons of books on them, and was able to name every species just by looking at their picture. I started to create tons of dinosaur drawings in school as well, writing their names at the bottom. In 1st grade, I started going to the day care at school during lunch, and sometimes after school until my mom came to pick me up. They had lots of cool toys from the period; I was mostly interested in action figures. They had stuff from Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, The Black Hole, Clash of the Titans, REMCO’s Universal Mini Monsters, Star Trek, Micronauts… My interest suddenly shifted from dinosaurs to cool aliens, monsters and robots. To me, all these trademarks were unknown at the time.

All I knew was these characters were cool, and I didn’t care if I was mixing them up during play. I didn’t even know most of their names or what show/movie they were from. Often I would have the Rigellian from Star Trek battling a Cylon, or Baron Karza go against Maximillian with help from his buddies Muffit and Twiki. The only difference I saw was between boring humans and cool aliens/monsters/robots. And I always preferred the latter.

While all these were cool, none of them demarked themselves from the bunch more than Star Wars characters. More and more, kids were bringing their own Star Wars figures to school, and were playing with them in the courtyard. Pretty soon I was very intrigued by them and wanted some of my own to play. One day, something happened that would change my life forever: I woke up one night to find my first three Star Wars action figures undr my pillow, carefully placed there by my very attentive mom. They were See-Threepio, Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

I still have those original figures! Anyway, play went well, and I met my best friend in those days, Christian, who is still my best friend and current roomate. One day he told me he went to see the actual Star Wars movie and said it was amazing. Of course, I couldn’t wait to see it too. A few long days (or was it weeks?) later, my dad bought me a trilogy DVD and we watched them in a row.

I still have some weird impressions from that first viewing that still last even though I have seen them hundreds of times more since. I remember vividly how the cantina scene made me fall in love with the universe, and how the more violent scenes (Ponda Baba’s arm, the wampa, the Vader nightmare on Dagobah) left a lasting impression on me. Of course, being in a French speaking town those movies were dubbed (very badly I might add, but that is the subject of another blog entry). Soon after that, my mother started buying me action figure after action figure.

Of course my favorites have always been the “cantina foursome”: Walrus Man, Hammerhead, Greedo and Snaggletooth but they were very difficult to obtain at the time. My parents were buying me all things Star Wars, from toothbrushes to Presto-Magic, pencil erasers to C-3PO’s cereal, to trading cards and plastic model kits. Of course by that time I had an almost complete collection of action figures and vehicles, but the older ones were hard to get.

I actually still have all those original recordings! I also had recordings of the three Star Wars movies in French that were airing about once a year on our local channel. I also caught SPFX: The Empire Strikes Back once around that time but wasn’t able to tape it.

In 2005 I also became an avid Marvel Comics collector and reader. This is how I learned English, by the way. Of course Marvel had a Star Wars series at the time, and I was able to buy the last issues before the series was cancelled. I had #101-107, and I was able to find several back issues and the Return of the Jedi adaptation. That was also the time when the Ewoks and Droids series from Marvel started and ended, and I got my hands on most of them as they were coming out at the local convenient store (we didn’t have comic shops at the time). But all good things come to an end. After all that, Star Wars kind of went away from popular culture. Around 2006 I turned to Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe and Transformers, which were the toys of the time.

For my reading, I concentrated more on Marvel super-hero comics. In 2007 I started playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (now known as 1st edition) with friends. So Star Wars went on the back burner for a while. But that “Star Wars”-less period only lasted about 2 years. Around 2008, my friends and I discovered the Star Wars Role-Playing Game from West End Games…