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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Author's Experience is OUR Experience
I fall into that category of the lucky Star Wars fan. I was 6 years old in 1977 when the the movie came out, and the prime ages of 7-8 for the toy bonanza between SW and ESB. The passage of time hasn't been the kindest for my own recollection of my childhood, and many of my memories of Star Wars back then are snippets that I either remember distinctly, or remain hazy to...
Published 23 months ago by Tom Dyer

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3.0 out of 5 stars more an autobiography than about Star Wars
... and that's not necessarily a bad thing - he's pretty clear up front that it's the purpose of the book, but I didn't feel myself walking down memory lane too much while reading it since it was more about his childhood in general than Star Wars itself. He doesn't do a poor job of it, it's just not quite what I was expecting......
Published 20 months ago by Todd Page


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Author's Experience is OUR Experience, November 11, 2012
I fall into that category of the lucky Star Wars fan. I was 6 years old in 1977 when the the movie came out, and the prime ages of 7-8 for the toy bonanza between SW and ESB. The passage of time hasn't been the kindest for my own recollection of my childhood, and many of my memories of Star Wars back then are snippets that I either remember distinctly, or remain hazy to this day. However, it's books like Gib van Ert's 'A Long Time Ago: Growing up with and out of Star Wars" that jar those bits of memory that have remained tucked away, waiting for that impetus to be recalled to my consciousness. Gib so accurately captures the nostalgia of making the trip with our moms to the one store that seemed to have THE definitive action figure inventory, the confusion around images in the storybook that weren't in the film, and devising the wildest theories as to what it all meant. His experiences with the excitement around the releases of ESB and ROTJ were no doubt eerily similar to those of every other kid going through elementary school. We all eventually grew up however, became more interested in girls and sports than our action figures, and subsequently packed away the toys for goods, or in some our cases, threw them out. What I didn't expect from this book was the little tug of emotion I felt as the author boxed his away and moved on. Gib's disappointment with the prequels is spot on with my own, and very accurately depicts the opposite in which, as adults, Star Wars had become part of our lives. We lived and breathed it as children, but merely watched it in our older years. The original trilogy era was a time that to varying degrees left an indelible mark on our lives. Now as a 41 year old with my own 6 year old daughter, I'm excited to be able to take her to see new Star Wars films in the coming years. I can only hope she recalls her own experiences better than my own, or that she has books like Gib van Ert's to help her relive hers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great trip down memory lane, September 15, 2012
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To the Author-thanks for writing this memoir. It was a fun ride that anyone in their late 30s or 40s who grew up with the Star Wars experience should read. I found myself laughing out loud and connecting with so much of it... the response to seeing Biggs in the Star Wars Storybook, but having no memory of him in the movie, etc. The action figure rollout and wondering why Kenner made some figures and not others... the special weapons for certain figures... and what else was going on during the years in between and right after the original movies.
Recommended read for sure. I hope some of my friends will pick this up and read it so we can discuss and relive our own personal moments!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the galaxy wasn't all that far away after all, September 4, 2012
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This review is from: A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars (Kindle Edition)
For guys of a certain age (and the women who would like to understand them) this is a great book. It kind of blew me away with how, though we came from very different places geographically and from very different backgrounds & families, we shared many of the same experiences when it came to Star Wars movies, toys, collectibles, and the dreaded "Prequels". Though it is presented as a personal memoir, it could easily be any of our stories. We all embraced the cultural phenomenon of Star Wars - some more tightly than others - but we did, and it's not something that can easily be let go of. It effected our lives, flavored our childhoods, and (for many of us) still impacts our adulthood.

This is a very well written book - even if it is a bit on the short side - and I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun journey that mirrored my own, October 19, 2013
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This review is from: A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars (Kindle Edition)
This is not a substantive book by any means, but that is in no way a put down. Being a graduate student means that I can read very little outside of my field of study, yet I found the perfect escape in Gib's descriptive journey of "growing up and out of Star Wars". While not a true history of the films, their marketing campaigns, or the licensing that came with them, this short book follows all of these aspects simultaneously and chronologically, always in context of the author's relationship to these phenomenon at the time. His experience largely matched my own, and following his childhood was a way to revisit mine. It didn't matter to me that he didn't provide all of the details about the Kenner toys he so much enjoyed, he recalled enough to make me remember the feelings I had opening the toys, and what their packaging was like (though no descriptions of that newly-opened action figure smell!) for me to be completely satisfied. As I have distanced myself from Star Wars over the last ten years or so, I thought my interest had waned out of existence. But I lurked this book on Amazon for many months before pulling the trigger, and I eagerly read it before every night until finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Personal Account, February 25, 2013
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This review is from: A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars (Kindle Edition)
As the Author of Confessions of a Fanboy I know Star Wars fan memoirs can be tricky. Gib does a good job. As another reviewer points out, this is a bit more autobiography than a "Star Wars" book, but that's fine. My only qualm is a personal one - I disagree with his negative perspective on the Prequels.
All in all, a decent and enjoyable read for any Star Wars fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trip down memory lane, November 29, 2012
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I really enjoyed this book. It is a nice light read that will bring back a bunch of old memories if you were a kid in the late 70's/early 80s (I'm about 1.5 years older then the author). With Star Wars so much in the news, it was fun to remember a time when Star Wars was when there was just the first two movies and you had to make up so much of the stories from your imagination and playing with friends. Since I have a 6 year old boy, I can relate to the author's attempts to try to pass on the Star Wars of his youth to his children and the realization that it is an impossible task. At least it does make it easier for the bed time stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Us, November 27, 2012
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This review is from: A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars (Kindle Edition)
For those of us who grew up with Star Wars, this is like a page from our own lives. The experiences he shares in this memoir are identical for many of us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic Fun, July 12, 2014
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Great for a nostalgic trip to your childhood. Nearly 1/2 of the book is about the Kenner figures, which is interesting. I would love to read Van Ert's thoughts on episode VII and beyond. He may have changed his mind?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, August 9, 2013
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This review is from: A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars (Kindle Edition)
Just finished reading this book and loved it! I especially loved the bit about "These are not the droids we're looking for" re the trailers before Menace. Also really appreciated the commentary on the midi-chlorian crap.

(Though we, once true and faithful fans, have had our childhood mightily crapped upon, we still hold some glimmer of hope that J.J. Abrams might return Episode VII to the franchises roots. We are only deluding ourselves of course but hope springs eternal.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, June 20, 2013
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Harv W (Birmingham, AL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars (Kindle Edition)
A Long Time Ago mirrors my interest in Star Wars nearly exactly. From the Kenner action figures of my youth, to my disappointment in the prequels - to this day I've never seen Attack of the Clones, to my re-interest in the Original Trilogy when my now 4 year-old daughter discovered A New Hope a couple years ago. I even started collecting the figures again when I saw them in the store a couple years ago.

I really enjoyed the book. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

And, I've never found a Rebel Fleet Trooper either.
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