As I sit here holding the YT-2400 in my hand, I'm reminded what a special ship it is to me. As someone who was born in the early eighties I never saw the original Star Wars trilogy in theaters. Home VHS was the way to go for me.
Every few Saturdays I'd pop in one of the films and watch happily with my dad. With an arm around me he'd point and guide my wide eyes to each key scene unfolding on screen. I didn't fully understand the story at that point but the sights, sounds, and sense that something important and timeless was taking place in front of me kept me transfixed. Afterwards we'd talk for hours (well he did a lot of patient listening lol) about that galaxy far far away and all the adventures that it possibly could contain.
Fast forward a few years and my father gave me his copy of Heir to the Empire. My eyes once again grew wide as I realized my heroes were continuing their adventures. Not only were there more stories but other people were writing and creating them.
In the mid nineties, and in my early-mid teens, I went over for a sleepover at friend'a home. He fired up his Nintendo 64 and we put in Shadows of the Empire. My mind was blown again. We must have played that single dang battle of Hoth mission twenty times in pure delight before moving on. We kept going until the early morning when we reached the later levels and I got to pilot the Outrider. I was in love. I was racing at break neck speeds against star destroyers and blasting away TIEs. It was glorious.
I remember now what people all the time said when they saw the Millennium Falcon in theaters. They saw a craft that could take them on distant voyages and dangerous missions. Well the Outrider was MY Falcon and I knew it instantly. Reading the novel only solidified its status in my mind.
I couldn't wait to tell my dad all about it and pick up on one of our long dormant Star Wars chats. We talked the difficulties of galactic politics, traveling to distant stars, how freakin' scary it would be to try to wield a lightsaber, and all things Star Wars geeky.
I'd love to say our talks continued for the years after but that, unfortunately, was not the case. I'll save the gory details but in the time soon after my father developed quite an aggressive brain tumor. Once he passed away my first and strongest connection to someone I could share those far off stories and adventures was gone.
Star Wars was a painful place for a while. I'm happy to say that over time, however, I came away from the experience with a positive outlook, a great deal of personal strength, and an appreciation for the many fine things in life. My apologies to anyone that might feel uncomfortable reading some of the things I've shared.
So... In any event. As I hold a YT-2400 shuttle in my hand, I have a few thoughts..
I feel like I'm holding a part of my childhood in my hand. Star Wars was never a fanciful escape for me but it certainly embodies a feeling of wonder and adventure for me. No other ship than the Outrider so perfectly captures that sense of dashing rogue-like adventure.
So my Sincere thanks to you FFG for bringing this ship to reality. If my dad was around today I know that he would love this game and we'd probably be playing on a kitchen table somewhere weekly over a few beers. Thanks for letting me relive some of my childhood fun and pass it on.
After a long hiatus from X-wing I was brought back in when my girlfriend's fourteen year old brother excitedly wanted to try it out. Astonishingly he didn't know a lot about Star Wars at the time. I'm happy to be able to pass the torch like my dad with me so many years ago.
Thanks for reading my long rant!
Does anyone else have stories of forming connections with any of the iconic ships? Haha please keep it positive and no trashing anyone.