The Hand Of A Jedi Knight

I was born and raised on television. To be more specific I was mostly raised watching science fiction and superheroes on television. There was also a whole lot of Kung Fu Theater in there with what seemed like thousands of hours of television watching that had anything to do with Kung Fu or the martial arts. However, most of my early and most precious memories were being cuddled up on the couch as a family watching Star Trek, The Original Series reruns or going to the opening nights of the first three Star Wars movies. There were couple years when Star Trek was followed by the television series called “Kung Fu.” It was about a traveling Shaolin Monk wandering through the American Wild West in the late 1800’s. My father told me later whenever I heard the theme songs to either Star Trek or Kung Fu I would come running and sit right to him and watch TV. Sci-Fi television and movies were (and still is) a family tradition.

Nichelle Nichols, Lieutenant Uhura, Tree City Comic Con, Comic Con, Star Trek, Science Fiction, Family Tradition

While AlejAndro and his mother, Lolita were attending the 2014 Tree City Comic they had the opportunity to visit with and take a photo with famed original Star Trek cast member Nichelle Nichols. She played Lieutenant Uhura in the Original Series and in many of the movies. this was a dream come true for both AlejAndro and his mother.

I am not completely clear why my parents loved science fiction so much. Both of them immigrated from other countries to chase the American Dream and live in the United States. My father came from Italy and my mother from Mexico. They met, fell in love, got married, and raised a family in South Bend, Indiana. That was where all my early television and cinema movie watching happened. Regardless of why they enjoyed aliens, spaceships, and intergalactic battles, I am truly glad they did. The love of Sci-Fi they had and raised me and my brothers with has had a life long lasting impression on who I am today as a person. Additionally, It also shapes who I am and how I present as a professional speaker. So many great things has unfolded because of the love my parents had for Science Fiction, Superheroes, and Comic Books.

Museum of Pop Culture, MPop, Seattle, Washington, Star Trek, Science Fiction

AlejAndro and his mother and brother visit the 2017 Museum of Pop Culture (MPop) Star Trek Installation. Here AlejAndro’s brother Esteban, and mother, Lolita are seated in a fake Captain’s Kirk chair for a photo opportunity. The real chair is in the museum.

Museum of Pop Culture, MPop, Seattle, Washington, Star Trek, Science Fiction

AlejAndro and his mother and brother visit the 2017 Museum of Pop Culture (MPop) Star Trek Installation. Here AlejAndro is seated in a fake Captain’s Kirk chair for a photo opportunity. The real chair is in the museum.

As a family we still love doing things with a Sci-Fi overtone. Mostly this is going to see any movie with a science fiction theme or storyline, anything about time travel (we are Dr. Who fans), and anything in space. When my younger brother lived in Atlanta, Georgia my mother went to visit him and they both went to the Dragon Con. My mother and I have attend many Comic Cons here in Boise, Idaho and she wants to attend the 2018 Salt Lake City Comic Con. In February of 2017 my younger brother, my mother and myself went to the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle Washington for a weekend Star Trek trip. The museum was hosting had a very rare and extensive display of Star Trek memorabilia and installations. They had the original Captain Kirk Chair, phasers, clothing, and technology. Plus they had stuff from all the Star Trek Series (The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and all the movies). For us it was a real and true geek moment. 

Boise Library Comic Con, Boise, Idaho, Iron Man, Tree City Comic Con, Comic Con, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superheroes, Science Fiction, Family Tradition

Here is tender moment with AlejAndro and his mother at the 2015 Boise Library Comic Con. This may sound like a strange place to host a comic con but it is very popular with fans and kids of Boise, Idaho.

Even as a professional speaker I often talk of Sci-fi, superheroes and comic books. In 2014 I competed in the semi-final round at the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My story’s theme was about how comic books and superheroes made a huge positive difference in my one-handed life as a young boy. I saw that many superheroes had overcome great adversity to be the heroes that they were. This gave me hope and inspiration to overcome any adversity I encountered in life. This is now a huge theme in my professional speaking career. In fact, I have an superhero speaking persona which I created and designed. My alias in my superhero storyline is myself and I live as an artist and a speaker in Boise, Idaho. In my universe I have my hero and villains illustrated, biographies created, a universe mapped out, and a history which brings me to earth. This speaking personality has helped me get speaking engagements at comic cons in Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, and Indianapolis, Indiana. I have received so many great benefits growing up loving science fiction and superheroes. In so many ways science fiction has bonded our family, given me personal hope and inspiration, and has been a deep powerful theme in my professional speaking career. 

Salt Lake City Comic Con, Superhero, Sci-Fi, Science Fiction,

AlejAndro gets his dream come true of having a superhero action figure made in his likeness. Well, at least an image of it taken at the 2016 Salt Lake City Comic Con.  

We even stared a family tradition back in 1980 by going to the opening night of the continuing saga of Star Wars. We loved to go to movies with our father when we were young. But the science fiction moves were the best, especially Star Wars. After seeing The Empire Strikes Back we made a commitment to go to the opening night of Return of the Jedi. Little did we know as a family it would not stop there. We went to all the original re-release showing followed my the Phantom Menace. Shortly thereafter my father passed away. To honor him and our love of science fiction we re-committed to seeing Star wars movies on opening night. We had no idea the Star Wars universe would expand so deeply with so many movies in the last decade. The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Rouge One were all attended my at least my mother and myself. We are planning for opening night this  May 2018 release of Solo. For me there is something more in Star Wars than this family tradition and our love of science fiction. Something happened to me that first opening night back in 1980 watching The Empire Strikes Back. Something that would change my life forever.

Tree City Comic Con, Comic Con, Star Wars, Science Fiction, Family Tradition

At the Tree City Comic Comn in 2014 AlejAndro attended with his Mother Lolita. As long time science fiction and Star Wars fans they could not pass of the chance to get a photo with the characters from Star Wars.

 It was the first time Sci-Fi made a true, deep, and powerfully long-lasting impression on me. As a family we went to go see The Empire Strikes Back opening night on May 21st, 1980. The theater was so packed we could not sit together. I was sitting next to people I did not know. But I did not care because we were all there to see the saga continue. Toward the end of the movie when Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker were battling with light sabers I did not know how drastically my life would change. When Vader cut off Luke’s hand my sci-fi geekie life changed forever for the better. The two very short and humorous conversations I had with the unknown person sitting next to me are forever blasted in my memory. Although I was born and raised on science fiction, it was not until I saw Luke Skywalker get his hand cut off that my true love of superheroes, science fiction, and Jedi Knights solidified in my person like a block of carbonite. That one moment made my one-handedness great and put me on the path of pushing the envelope of positivity.

To listen to the story of me growing up in a Sci-Fi household and how seeing Luke Skywalker get his hand cut off impacted my life I invite you to listen to my One Hand Speaks Storytelling Podcast Episode OHS041.

Please feel free to share this blog or my podcast and I ask you to offer a comment with your opinion and feedback! Thanks!

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