A Long Time Ago …

Surrounded by shredded wrapping paper, I sat cross-legged in the living room on the cold wood floor. But it didn’t matter. Nothing was as cold as Hoth. I held the Rebel Snowspeeder in my lap as tenderly as if I’d received a puppy. The pilot was snug in the cockpit, ready to fire his grappling hook at the legs of any wayward Imperial armored walkers.

The Star Wars universe existed not only on the screen, but also day-to-day in my imagination, aided by plastic X-Wings, Landspeeders and eventually a Millennium Falcon and AT-AT that my brother and I played with incessantly. The toys, treasured stiff-armed heroes, were the fantastical made real. On a rainy Seattle afternoon they could turn a couch into an impregnable Imperial base or a dark closet into a merciless black hole.

The return of Star Wars in the form of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens means reconnecting with the origins of our inspiration and imagination. And that was his intent.

From reader to writer, exploring the known world to the unknown one, this film’s arrival comes at a perfect time for me. Ghost Fleet is rooted in my interests in conflict and diplomacy, war and peace, that developed out of the Star Wars trilogy, Starblazers, Robotech and other stories from those elementary-school years.

Fittingly, the film’s release this month has given me a chance to reconnect with this past:

Read my article with P.W. Singer at The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog on how the science in Star Wars is actually real.

Listen to the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) Real Time Strategy Podcast on Star Wars: Battlefront where we play the video game and discuss everything from the ethics of Rebel tactics to Imperial military healthcare for Stormtroopers.