Star Wars ComLINKS: The Aftermath of Force Friday for this business traveler
I’m a reader. I use Amazon … a lot. I travel often for business. Those are the three components that made up my Force Friday experience and I’m excited to share my Force Friday story here on Star Wars ComLINKS.
Allow me to explain.
I pre-ordered five of the Force Friday books on Amazon Prime Day (July 15) to take advantage of a little bit of a discount offered to Prime members. Of the five books I ordered one digitally (Aftermath) and the other four were hard covers (Lost Stars, Smuggler’s Run, The Weapon of a Jedi, and Moving Target). My reasoning for the digital copy of Aftermath was so I could read it as soon as it dropped on Thursday night/Friday morning vs. waiting until my UPS guy dropped a box on my doorstep Friday afternoon/evening. My strategy worked out well as I’ll cover here in a bit.
So how does traveling for business come in to this explanation of my Force Friday experience?
I imagine star lines streaking past when the Alaska Airlines pilot throttles for takeoff. I step off the plane feeling like Han Solo descending the Falcon’s ramp. Business after-hours functions often remind me of a Mos Eisely cantina – the good and the bad.
But the reason I even bring this up is because my latest out-of-towner appeared to cast a dark shadow over my Force Friday plans. Business took me out of town last week and I was forced to spend all of Sept 3rd and 4th in meetings and traveling to and fro. I finally wrestled my leg from the Sarlacc tentacle’s grasp around 5pm Friday and caught a transport to the docking bay where a starship (a Boeing 737-800) waited to whisk me home.
The YouTube live stream kept me up late Wednesday night and I managed to steal peeks at Twitter and Facebook during breaks between conference calls as lines formed and the
anticipation reached a fever pitch. I was as anxious as Chewbacca to get home to Kashyyyk on Life Day.
I spent my layover in Seattle on Thursday night watching toy unboxing videos and interviews with the authors of the new canon novels – what I was looking forward to most being an avid Star Wars novel reader.
I kept checking in with my Tweeple who were expecting to download Aftermath on their Kindles to see if anyone had seen or heard when we could expect it. I was hitting “sync” on my Kindle reader about every 5 minutes, or more often if I thought about it.
Rarely do I splurge and purchase GoGo Internet on flights but the situation called for it as I was determined to start reading Aftermath as soon as I possibly could.
It paid off.
I don’t recall the time of day or where over Nevada or Oregon I was because I was too excited, distracted, and focused to look. I got an email from Amazon alerting me that my credit card had been charged the 11 bucks and Aftermath was now available to download. If you’ve ever used GoGo Internet while flying, you know it’s super slow – only good for web surfing, emails, texting, etc. It seemed like an eternity but finally the status bar registered
100% and I was able to open Chuck Wendig’s highly anticipated first book in a trilogy of stories meant to bridge the 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Needless to say, the remainder of the trip home was spent reading Aftermath on my iPhone. Turbulence shook the plane but my eyes never left my tiny screen. I was absorbing it like a wampa with a freshly killed tauntaun.
By the time I landed at my small hometown regional airpiort, it was 15 minutes AFTER midnight on Force Friday. I was 20% into Aftermath but now needed to get to my transport (my car) as quickly as possible because I knew all the Star Wars merchandise that was released at midnight was going fast.
I found my ride and tore out of the parking lot, nearly sideswiping other vehicles and trees that lined the road. I felt like a biker scout attempting to flee from Rebel Alliance infiltrators on a speederbike on the forest moon of Endor.
I arrived at Walmart about a quarter to 1 a.m. and dashed inside to find the aftermath of dedicated fellow Force Friday enthusiasts. The shelves were picked clean like skeletons in a Rancor pit. There were balloons and cupcakes and a few faithful fans still mulling about in costumes. But the damage had been done. I was virtually shut out when it came to toys and games.
Mentally I was in a good spot, though. I was already on a Star Wars high because of Aftermath and had the Labor Day holiday weekend to absorb the other new stories. Aftermath would be wrapped up by Friday afternoon and then four new books would be on my doorstep.
And that’s exactly how it happened.
Force Friday was a whirlwind of travel and monitoring what I could online. I drew it up very differently when it was first announced, but all in all, I look back on it with fondness. To be able to download Aftermath and start reading at 35,000 feet – it was like traveling through hyperspace (ok 500 mph) while getting my hands on the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga.
May the Force be with you.