Kendall Schroeder shares a story written more than 40 years ago as he remembers a Christmas inspired by Star Wars.
In December of 1977, my fifth grade assignment was to write and illustrate a book of my own design. Being a science fiction nerd already at that age, the subject matter would be easy for me. Growing up on Star Trek and recently discovering Isaac Asimov, my imagination was filled with adventures set in space. However, the only thing that was on my mind at that time was a movie experience that I had a few months earlier. I saw this movie called Star Wars!
For the Love of Droids
The movie captivated me like no other. The adventure, the visual effects, the new world, and the amazing characters made a deep impact. But, the thing that stayed with me the most was the droids. I fell in love with R2–D2! That feeling influenced my fifth grade story.
The Droids Take Center Stage
At a young age, I was already a pretty good artist. My third grade teacher even gave me the opportunity to create some of her bulletin boards. I was constantly doodling in class and copying Peanuts characters from the Sunday comics. So, when my fifth grade teacher said we will be creating our own book, I was all for it. And, it’s obvious that I was inspired by the world of George Lucas. In my story, the droids would take center stage.
A Story of Hope
To celebrate X-wing X-mas, nothing could be more fitting than to dust off this old relic and share it with the world. Trying my best to write legibly in the style of the Peanuts comic strip, and after several rough drafts, the story came together. And, likely without realizing that Star Wars was all about hope, my story took on a hopeful feeling, as well.
I actually love the design of X-5 and 5-X. I refer to them as robots but I’m sure that comes from my experience with Asimov stories. However, the body design is a direct influence from Artoo.
A Story Worth Telling
After unearthing this story, it has inspired me to revisit these characters. Creating my own characters and writing a story around them is something that I’ve always wanted to do. Apparently, I did that 40 years ago. I think it’s time to write a sequel.
Kendall Schroeder saw the original Star Wars in a small theater in the summer of his 10th birthday and immediately fell in love with the Far Away Galaxy. Pretending to be either Jedi Luke Skywalker or Colonel Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, Kendall always believed he had special powers. Maybe that’s why he truly believes there is good in all people. And, he will stop at nothing to help rid the world of evil. When Kendall is not creating art, he is leading educators as the head of an online school. Kendall lives in West Michigan with his wife and two kids.