Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Star Wars Memories 02: My First Decorative Mirror

Okay, pretend this is a mirror. Everything behind
Han and Chewie is mirrored glass, and the two
figures are drawn in black silkscreened ink.
Now, encase it all in a tacky silver frame. Ah, the 1970's!

I turned 8 in 1977, in October of that year, and part of my birthday spoils included a full room makeover into a Star Wars themed room, or as much of it as could be managed at the time, which was still pretty good. I got a navy blue paint job, a Star Wars sleeping bag which I promptly unzipped and used as a comforter for years, a poster of Darth Vader, and a silver mirror with plastic chrome framing and a silkscreened image of Han and Chewie shooting off to the left at Stormtroopers (you know the image; it was everywhere).

This was awesome. I had already started buying the Topp’s trading cards and the various magazines with Star Wars articles in them. I couldn’t start reading about this stuff soon enough. I had to know more. Now, as an only child, I could stay in my room all day and disappear into the world of Star Wars, thanks to my snazzy room make-over.

Mind you, I wasn’t all Star Wars, all the time. There were other considerations, too. But that mirror with Han and Chewie on it…man. That was my favorite part of the room. I liked it better than the Darth Vader poster, and let me tell you, I loved that Darth Vader poster. I held on to the mirror for as long as I could, well into high school. I don’t know what happened to it, either. No memory of packing it or breaking it. Only it being on my wall one minute, and not there the next.

I think the thing I liked best about the mirror was that I could look into it and see my room from the other side. I’ve always been fascinated with mirrors and optics and this weird 15” by 10” knick-knack became my portal into the Star Wars universe.

I have since learned that the mirrors were made by Lightline Industries, and there were four designs in two different sizes: Darth Vader, Artoo and Threepio, Han and Chewie, and the ubiquitous X-Wing being chased by a TIE Fighter. You could get these images in 15” by 10” (or 10” by 15” if it was a portrait) or the much larger and oh-God-why-didn’t-I-know-about-this-sooner size of 20” by 30”. Forget a disco lounge. Forget Elvis'Jungle Room. Forget a Steampunk Villan's Retreat. My eventual Man Cave will feature those big-ass mirrors on one wall, as God is my witness.

Thirty-something years later, and I still covet this stuff. It’s so strange to me.

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