We asked some notable creative Mainers about the personal impact “Star Wars” has had on them.

Han Solo is a favorite of Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Portland poet Laureate.

Han Solo is a favorite of Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Portland poet Laureate.

GIBSON FAY-LEBLANC, 41, Portland poet laureate

What is your best, most vivid “Star Wars” memory?

I remember celebrating my 9th birthday by going to the old Esquire Theatre in Chicago with my family and several friends to see “Return of the Jedi.” The line stretched around the block. I’d never cared so deeply about the conclusion of a story, and the movie didn’t disappoint. I spent hours in my basement at home with my “Star Wars figures,” re-enacting various scenes and spinning them different ways.

Why is “Star Wars” still important to you, and so many others?

My sons are now 10 and 7, and we’re watching both the original three and the newer three before we go to see “The Force Awakens.” In part, I’m reliving the experience of watching the movies, though I’d probably watch them again even if I didn’t have kids. On a larger level, “Star Wars” is a cultural touchstone, it’s a story about the good and evil in us all and about the fractures and reconciliations that happen in most families. These movies probably taught me as much about story as anything.

Which “Star Wars” character would you want to be?

Han Solo’s the coolest, mercenary and cocky on the outside, loyal and courageous on the inside. When I was a kid I was usually Luke Skywalker though, because I had a blonde bowl-cut that I could part down the middle just like him.

If Maine humorist Tim Sample was a "Star Wars" character is would be Obi-Wan Kenobi.

If Maine humorist Tim Sample was a “Star Wars” character is would be Obi-Wan Kenobi.

TIM SAMPLE, 64, Maine humorist

What is your best, most vivid “Star Wars” memory?

I was 26, sitting in the movie theater in Pittsfield watching the original film for the first time. It was late spring, 1977, and I’d just survived a long, Maine winter playing (the song) “A Horse with No Name” in the local bar and living in a one-room cabin on a dirt road with only a woodstove for heat and no indoor plumbing. In short, I was totally primed for an epic adventure in a galaxy “far, far away.”

Why is “Star Wars” still important to you, and to so many others?

The multi-generational appeal of the “Star Wars” franchise is a testament to the transformative power of the human imagination and the timelessness of great storytelling.

Which “Star Wars” character would you want to be?

I’d be Obi-Wan Kenobi. I’m a sucker for the whole Zen master “above-it-all” thing anyway. And I can think of plenty of real-life situations – speeding tickets? Jehovah’s Witnesses at the front door? – in which that whole woo-woo, mind-bending, “these aren’t the droids we’re looking for” shtick would come in wicked handy.

Eric Saindon, who has done visual effects for the "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" movies picks Obi-Wan Kenobi as his favorite "Star Wars" character.

Eric Saindon, who has done visual effects for the “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” movies picks Obi-Wan Kenobi as his favorite “Star Wars” character.

ERIC SAINDON, 46, Gorham native, visual effects supervisor for the “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” films

What is your best, most vivid “Star Wars” memory?

Watching the first one at a drive-in in 1977 with my parents. It was a double feature with “Star Wars,” which I loved and pretended to be Han Solo for weeks after. The second film was “The Hills Have Eyes,” which scared the crap out of me and gave me nightmares for years.

Why is “Star Wars” still important to you, and to so many others?

“Star Wars,” being one of the first big VFX (visual effects) movies, is absolutely a big influence to me today. Over the years, it’s been great actually getting to work with some of the pioneers that made the original movies. Plus I have lots of friends that are working on the new movies, which I am very excited to see.

Which “Star Wars” character would you want to be?

It would have to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, mainly because I feel like one of the older guys in the VFX industry and I am always sharing my knowledge with the newcomers.

Herb Ivy, morning host on WBLM, would choose to be "cool and funky" like Lando Calrissian.

Herb Ivy, morning host on WBLM, would choose to be “cool and funky” like Lando Calrissian.

HERB IVY, 52, “The Captain,” morning host on WBLM

What is your best, most vivid “Star Wars” memory?

I was a senior in high school in Delaware and pretty much living the “Wayne’s World” lifestyle. I remember being blown away by “The Empire Strikes Back.” It was the first movie that was a classic from my generation. We all knew going in to the theater that Darth Vader was Luke’s father, but to see it and that scene was incredible.

Why is “Star Wars” still important to you, and so many others?

The concept of the Force really resonates with me. It certainly ties in very well with my personal spirituality. The concept of it being an “energy field created by all living things, that surrounds and penetrates living beings and binds the galaxy together.” As a parent, I’ve used the concept of the Force, and certainly the Dark Side, to teach my kids right from wrong and the wonder of creation.

Which “Star Wars” character would you want to be?

Lando Calrissian. Billy Dee Williams, smooth and funky. Both of which I am not.

Which character would freelance journalist and former TV news anchor Shannon Moss be? Princess Leia, of course.

Which character would freelance journalist and former TV news anchor Shannon Moss be? Princess Leia, of course.

SHANNON MOSS, 45, freelance journalist and former TV news anchor

What is your best, most vivid “Star Wars” memory?

Watching the very first one. I had just turned 7, and it was the first movie I ever saw in the theater. I was hooked from the opening crawl and soundtrack. I still (feel a pang) in my stomach, as if I don’t already know that Han Solo and Chewie are going to swoop in to make way for Luke to destroy the Death Star.

Why is “Star Wars” still important to you, and so many others?

It’s a wonderful childhood memory that I have been able to share with my boys. I can’t think of another movie series that has transcended so many generations. My 9-year-old said to me the other day, “Mom, Han Solo is old in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie.” I laughed and told him he wasn’t (when she saw the first movie).

Which “Star Wars” character would you want to be?

Princess Leia. While I never warmed up to the side buns, I’ve always loved that she was tough, a great leader, fearless on the battlefield and still girly.

– RAY ROUTHIER

filed under: