I really need a mid-90s desktop computer with a floppy-disk drive. I’ve learned that they don’t make those anymore, and buying an external floppy-disk drive is completely unheard of, because what even IS that? But that’s what I need if I’m ever going to unlock my Star Wars fanfiction, because 11 year old me saved it on a grey floppy-disk back in 1999.
This floppy-disk drive, as one might say, is currently my only hope.
I’m desperate to read what I wrote. Yes, I know the stories are probably riddled with spelling mistakes and atrocious grammar, but these stories were the first thing I ever wrote. Ever. It was the first time I sat down and thought to myself, “I want to write something” and I did. As a kid, I liked the idea of being a writer, but I didn’t know where to start let alone what to write. When my dad told me that George Lucas planned to make even more Star Wars movies, taking place after the events of Episodes IV-VI, and focusing on Han Solo and Leia’s kids, I was sold. I knew I needed to be the one to write these new stories. This is how I started writing.
Even though I was 11 years old, and there was no way an 11 was going to write the next chapter of Star Wars, I believed I could. 11 year old me didn’t realize things like that don’t happen in real life. Looking back, I love that I had enough determination to actually sit down and put pen to paper, like my Star Wars dreams would one day come true.
I still remember the gist of the story I wrote. It was about Han and Leia’s daughter, and she was some kickass Jedi Knight who needed to save the whole galaxy, of course (Major shout out to 11 year old Rachel who even back then knew there was a huge lack of strong female characters in the movies, and seeing this lack, decided to write one herself). I wish I could remember the actual plot and body of the story, but I do remember that I had everything planned out for not one but THREE movies. As you do when you’re 11 years old and have dreams of Star Wars grandeur.
As I grew up, and went off to middle school, and Attack of the Clones happened, I started to drift away from writing my Star Wars story. I still thought it was a good story, but my young tween life got in the way, and I needed to do school things, and not Star Wars things. The final draft was saved onto a floppy disk and tucked away in a desk drawer. One day I assumed I’d go back to it, and finish my saga. Years passed, and computers changed, and one day I couldn’t go back to it at all.
But I didn’t forget how much fun I had writing it, even though it was all a bunch of made up words in a fictional galaxy. Eventually, a 13 year old me came to grips with the fact I wasn’t going to find fame and glory with Star Wars. As that thought began to sink in, I realized I loved the thrill of writing. Not as cool as say, piloting an X-Wing, but you take what you’re given. Something inside of me clicked, because shortly after this I started writing a lot more. I came to realize that I didn’t need to borrow characters from anywhere else, because I could make up my own — complete with weird names in foreign galaxies, all 100% my own imagination.
Nowadays, I look back and laugh to myself about the fact that I’ve got 100+ pages of Star Wars fanfiction. Not because the idea of it is funny, but because every writer has to start somewhere, and I decided to start with Episode VII. Though I’ll never see my own Star Wars story up on the big screen, I’m happy with the new world it opened up for me.
If you want, I’ll let you read it, too — but you’ve gotta find me a floppy disk drive.