May 14, 2014

Star Wars is everywhere

Star Wars is everywhere. Like the Force, it surrounds us. The saga is embedded into our culture, and I come across Star Wars references in the weirdest places. For those who doubt, I had two such experiences last weekend.

On Saturday, I went to the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. It's the sixth largest historic home in the country, and construction was finished in 1915. It was built for the Seiberling family - the co-founders of Goodyear. They had a few dollars. The estate is grand in every sense of the word. At 64,500 square feet, the manor is sprawling. The grounds are just as big and impressive, and much of the land and home are preserved. You can't touch any of the furniture or decorations because many of them are original and authentic, or they've been restored. It was a gorgeous place, and I felt very Lady Mary as I walked through the home on a self-guided tour.

Weirdly enough, even in this historic home, there were Star Wars connections. Plural. They had an exhibit set up in the basement about old press camera flashes. Alongside examples of these cameras, there was a photo of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber and a note explaining that pieces of the hilt were made from the battery packs. Of course, they spelled lightsaber thusly: "light-saber" and called Lucasfilm "LucasFilms," but it was a still a happy surprise.

And then I exited and happened to look up. In the bottom left corner of a window, there was a Darth Vader toy:
What?! I wanted to ask an employee about it - there has to be a story - but I didn't want to risk someone getting grumpy and removing it. I hope to see Darth Vader sitting there the next time I return.

On Sunday, I drove to Columbus to meet my mom and sister for a feast at Schmidt's. They offer delicious sausages, German potato salad, and heavenly mac 'n cheese. They also try to teach you some German while you're using the facilities, and they use famous lines from movies. As I washed my hands in the bathroom, I suddenly heard "May the Force be with you" followed by the German translation, "Möge die Macht mit Dir sein!"

Star Wars is everywhere.


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