A long time ago (2000ish) in a galaxy far, far away (Chicago), a young man walked into a tattoo shop and was forever marked as a sympathizer of the Empire. It was my very first tattoo and for anyone that knows me, the most predictable choice ever. Over the years the Imperial logo on my shoulder has aged about as well as Darth Vader did inside of that stifling mechanical suit — it’s super faded and the ink has spread in all the wrong places. But much like George Lucas’ signature creation, it will always have a very special place in my heart.
Unless I start spouting some lines of Ewok, people are going to figure that I’m not anywhere near as dedicated of a fan. I can wear my Darth Vader Vans and my Iron Maiden/Star Wars mashup novelty shirt every day until I become one with the Force and I still won’t show the dedication these people have. I didn’t spend thousands of dollars, a ton of hours, and a large percentage of my body to proclaim my love, I just can’t compete. Much like the folks of Alderaan vs. The Death Star, I have lost this battle of nerdom in crushing form.
Growing up I was picked on constantly. Some days it was because I was a fat kid, other days it was because I was the poor kid, the reason didn’t really matter. But I would go home, fire up the ol’ VHS, and watch Empire Strikes Back while playing with my action figures and I’d feel alright. As I got older it turned into reading the books and writing really embarrassing fan fiction, and eventually it led to me getting the Imperial logo on my shoulder as a way to show my love for the silly little movies that I would escape into whenever the world was falling down around me (like when that big space snake’s belly starts caving in and the Falcon has to fly out of it).
I hope you enjoy your May the Fourth. Or maybe you prefer Revenge of the Fifth. It doesn’t matter what day it is, every day is perfect for loving Star Wars and all of these amazing tattoos. And be sure to check out the artists’ Instagrams if you are looking to grab some Star Wars ink of your own.