The Top 5 Things I had to cut from “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” my new essay up on Tablet

My new piece up on Tablet, “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” is about how my lifelong love of Star Wars is clashing with my commitment not to go to the movies. Yes, it is true, this fangirl, the child formerly known in some circles as “Chewbecca,” will not be watching “The Force Awakens.”

O Death Star Play Set, how I miss thee!!

Writing the piece was loads of fun: I got to relive many happy minutes of my childhood. In the original draft, I described the scene when I received my beloved Death Star Play Set (from Kenner!) in loving detail, and included all sorts of wacky stuff that I had to cut for length before turning the article into Tablet. 

Editing out all that material was painful, and so I give you…


  1. The first Star Wars toy I received was the 12-inch Princess Leia doll. My grandparents brought it from the U.S. to Israel, where I was living at the time, for my fourth birthday. My sister got stuck with a Luke doll.
  2. The reason my sister wanted a Leia doll instead of Luke was because you could style her hair. Unfortunately, the year after my sister and I received our Death Star Playset, Princess Leia’s plastic head split open due to excessive hairstyling by yours truly. Uncle Larry and Uncle Ira came to the rescue again: they bought both my sister AND me new Leia dolls for Chanukah.
  3. When I got stuck playing “Chewbecca” on the yard at school, my sister got to play Princess Leia. I pretty much hated that.
  4. I liked the ewoks. Embarrassing, but true.
  5. Whenever people above the age of 10 at the time “A New Hope” came out told me that they hadn’t seen the movie, I would tell them, “That’s what’s wrong with you! Not seeing Star Wars is the root of all evil.” Yes, I actually said that. Multiple times.

Do you have any embarrassing Star Wars confessions? Feel free to share them in the comments.

8 thoughts on “The Top 5 Things I had to cut from “The Force Isn’t With Me Anymore,” my new essay up on Tablet

  1. Having not being born to native English speakers, I never caught the SW bug. I will go on record and say I haven’t seen any of the movies even tho I might’ve (during college with a bunch of stoners). The entire 70s franchise escapes me as anything of importance, kinda like movies to you now.

    I force myself to understand little intsy pieces of SW symbolism/dialogue just to not feel like a jackass when conversing with people at dinner parties, but I really, absolutely do not care if JJ Abhrams or whatever-the-other-guys-name-was directed whichever episode.

    Top Gun? Now that’s a movie.


    • Haha! I love your comment. It’s so funny to look back on what seemed so important when I was a kid and to see how little it matters today. And I never saw “Top Gun” as a kid, so just like I cornered friends who hadn’t seen “A New Hope,” I had a friend who felt that way about “Top Gun.” I watched it while home sick from class. It was…okay.


  2. I like the way you grappled with – and resolved – that tension between your principles and the allure of something that violates them. It can be hard; we’re told that movies are all 1000% assur, traif, ta’may, tumah-diga, “goyische entertainment,” and all the rest. But inside, there’s a pull: “Even ‘Star Wars’? Come on, there’s a new one soon!”
    Your article is very encouraging. Thank you.


    • I think there are a lot of essays out there that make it look like choosing the “right thing” (which is debatable here, because I’m not saying no one should see movies) is without a downside. I’m glad that you appreciated that I tried to keep it real.


  3. I was always more of a Doctor Who fan than a Star Wars fan (there was a tension in the UK because by the time I grew up Doctor Who was seen as cheap and tacky, unlike Star Wars). I did find my Star Wars micro machines when we moved house a few months ago, though! And I have the DVDs, and a ticket to the cinema for next week…

    Seriously, films have never been important to me, but I have often wondered if I could give up TV for religious reasons, say if I ended up seriously dating someone a bit to my ‘right’ who didn’t want a TV for the reasons you give. Would that be a deal-breaker? Or even if I moved towards that viewpoint myself. I don’t think I watch much TV – I don’t channel surf and vegetate in front of it, mostly I selectively watch DVDs of my favourite programmes (mostly old British science fiction programmes), but it’s really important to me as a way of coping when my mental health is bad, as it is right now. I can see the messages are not always ones I would agree with. I tend to be comfortable exploring ideas I don’t agree with, but would I want to expose my children to them? It’s hard. I guess I shouldn’t worry until it happens.

    Do they still write novelizations of books and TV? The Doctor Who novelizations I grew up reading were a whole sub-culture in their own right. I read most episodes long before I got to see them.

    (Sorry for the thesis I’ve written here!)


    • Once you’ve got kids in the picture (even students), things are very, very different. I’m honestly not sure that I would have made the jump without them watching me.

      The novelization thing is bigger than ever. The Star Wars folks were so afraid the novel of this episode would generate leaks that it isn’t being published until Thursday. They were willing to give up most of the Xmas buying season to keep the plot under wraps.

      I LOOOOOOVED those Doctor Who novelizations when I was a kid. The only way to watch the show in the U.S. was on PBS stations. The books were so much fun and let me read about previous Doctors (I got on the bandwagon with #4). Now that the show is so popular, even here in the U.S., I get a certain pleasure saying, “I don’t watch it now, but I liked the Doctor before it was cool to like the Doctor.”


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