The idea of why our community loves Star Wars first came to my mind when I was meeting with a young boy on the spectrum and his parents. He could tell you every Star Wars character and recite the original trilogy of movies by heart (he won’t watch the prequels though if his life depended on it). While talking to him though the most touching thing he said to me was…

“I often feel because of my autism, that I live in a galaxy far far away. I’m not like most people I know and neither are the Star Wars characters. They are different just like me.”

This is something that stuck with me because my mentees can often relate with this. Feeling like they are different than the norm. Many of them are also in love with Star Wars too! While thinking more about this I decided to reach out to several individuals in our community to see why their kids love Star Wars and this is what I found…

Amy writes…

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When I asked Anthony why he likes Star Wars he instantly said its because of the battles between the Rebels and the Empire. He said the lightsaber battles, the Death Star and The Millennium Falcon are really cool, and his favorite droid is R2D2. He said he loves the “force” and sometimes compares his autism to having the force “my autism is like Luke Skywalker having the force. You don’t always see it, but we will always have it”.

Jill writes…

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“For a very long time, Alexander’s intense interests were not easily adapted to involving others.   Star Wars changed that.  Soon after a mesmerized Alexander watched the first film, my husband hopefully trucked out dusty boxes full of vintage Star Wars toys he had saved from his childhood.  The two of them spent that afternoon and the next and the one after that creating new adventures and re-enacting scenes.  Always close, they bonded in a new way.  They became teammates, better together than apart.  Nowadays, moments like these have thankfully become commonplace and have generalized far beyond just one theme, but we will always remember where they started… with Star Wars.”

Melissa writes..

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In May 2014 we went to Disney World with a group of special needs families from our area. We were there during Star Wars week and excitedly went to Hollywood Studios to see our favorite characters in a parade. It got loud and Korban got overwhelmed so we left and took solace in a quiet spot. Little did we know we were standing right by the door the characters exited through at the end of the parade. Darth Vader flashed Korban the peace sign as he walked past. Made his day!

From my own story, I used to grow up wanting to be a Jedi. I thought when everyone told me growing up that I was special it made me think about how Jedi’s are also special and how amazing it would to be a part of a group like that.

I hope if you enjoy Star Wars as much as I do you will share this article in your local communities and we gear up for the new trilogy of movies. Get excited!