Long, Long Ago In a Ballpark Far, Far Away…

When the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would be holding a Star Wars day at Chase Field I felt equal amounts of excitement and fear. On the one hand I grew up with Star Wars and that movie franchise has always held a special place in my heart. On the other hand, I could not even fathom the geekiness that would find its way into Chase Field.

There are three groups of people who scare the daylights out of me. There are the Harry Potter people who insist on calling me a Muggle and run around with capes, wands, and brooms proclaiming they are protecting me from “he who shall not be named.” I have to admit, for the longest time I thought they were talking about Derek Jeter.

The second group is the Trekkies. I could never quite get into Star Trek. I think the biggest reason was the fact that there was no baseball in the 25th Century or if there was, Kirk, Picard, and all the other captains never seemed to talk about baseball, playoffs, or the World Series. What’s the point of exploring the universe if there isn’t baseball? The fans are a little creepy in the fact that they can quote lines and episode numbers of every show ever broadcast and even some that were not.

The third group is the Star Wars groupies. Many of these are the people who still live at home in their parents’ basement and write epistles on the Internet of how George Lucas is destroying cinematic history by changing the number of times Darth Vader yells “No!” These are also the people who have full costumes of every creature that ever appeared in the Star Wars franchise. I could not even imagine what life would be like if these people left their basements and came to a baseball game.

As I arrived at the stadium and made my way to Gate J, I was met by a swarm of Star War-ites. Some were children who looked cute dressed up as little Jedi Masters, Ewoks, and clones. They stood at attention glancing left and right ready to engage their light sabers in a battle to save the galaxy.

If that were all, Star Wars day would have been fairly normal. Instead, there were more than a few adults dressed up like characters from the movies. I knew we were in for trouble when two adults were arguing in line over whether Han Solo or Bobba Fett shot first. This of course led to an intergalactic argument challenging the notion that there are three unwritten episodes Lucas still has to write that occur after the end of Return of the Jedi.

On the concourse in the stadium there were several droids wandering around entertaining the crowd of 41,243. Intermixed with the droids were several more adults dressed as Star Wars characters seemingly trying to decide if these were the droids they were looking for.

The Diamondbacks did a great job with the promotion. The player pictures on dbTV were super imposed over Star Wars characters bringing more than a few laughs from the crowd. Even the San Francisco Giants got into the spirit of the day. When Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum hit Justin Upton in the head with a fast ball he immediately became as hated as Darth Maul or Jar Jar Binks.

The Force was with the Diamondbacks this day and they defeated the evil empire Giants. While it was fun, I was still a little disappointed Arizona was not playing the San Diego Padres for Star Wars day. I would have given anything to have a “Luke I’m not your Padre” shirt. Well maybe next year.

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