By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The trials of the Star Wars fan don't end with an understanding of the films and an action-figure collection. Growing up with Luke Skywalker took patience, belief, and faith. Between 1983 and the early '90s, the "Story by George Lucas" credit appeared a few times on other movies, but always as a false apparition, a test.
Since 1992, things have been different. Lucas began licensing Luke, Leia, and Boba Fett to sci-fi writers and comic-book companies. Keeping a close grip on what they could touch (mostly the post-Jedi universe), he eased America back into the Star Wars habit. For a year, almost every book released with Star Wars in the title was a best seller. Then came a new series of action figures, a remastered video release, the Special Edition, and, now, finally, next month, Episode I. The faithful will be rewarded. But to those behind the line, there must be more: a pilgrimage, a celebration, a fast of sorts--one month of their lives.
Additional reporting for this story was provided by Dallas Observer staff writer Zac Crain.