The year 2005 was without a doubt a turning point in my life. I had recently seen Revenge of the Sith, the third instalment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy and was browsing the web, looking for all things Star Wars. How exactly I got there I can’t remember, but I am eternally grateful I did find and join that little online community called the Earth Jedi Order!
The Earth Jedi Order (or EJO as its members would usually refer to it) was a community dedicated to teaching the ways of the Jedi, as based on the guardians of peace and justice in the Star Wars universe, and apply them on Earth. It was a serious and committed group. We weren’t clad in brown woollen robes, knew full well we weren’t able to shoot lightning or lift spaceships with our mind and we didn’t pretend we’d walk down the street swinging lightsabers around (Alright, I did at times… What?! I played Star Wars with the kids next door. It was fun!). The Star Wars movies and expanded universe served as lore upon which the teachings were built and to some extent to give a bit of fluff and flavour to the site, not as holy scripture. It had a slight role-play aspect to it, sure, but this was hardly visible beyond the role-play section (more on that later) and the Star Wars-based name most of us used. Mine? Vhiran Ashukahwa. Yes, the Earth Jedi Order is where the name Ashukahwa first saw the light of day and has since lived on for almost ten years now! ^_^ But I digress. Primarily, the EJO’s goal was, through the Jedi teachings, to better ourselves and, in turn, make the world a better place. It was a place with nice and (mostly) like-minded people and I felt welcome from the very beginning. I would be as far as I can from exaggerating if I said the Earth Jedi Order was no less than a second home to me.
Unfortunately the activity and numbers started to wither over time. Several efforts were made to get it back on its feet, but it eventually was to no avail. Although the site still exists there hasn’t been any activity for a long time now. Its slow and eventual death has always saddened me. I learned a lot in that place, have wonderful memories of it and made some great friends there. Just writing about it really makes the melancholy well up…
So, you might ask, what does any of this has to do with your writing past? Well, while it was certainly a serious and dedicated group, the EJO was not beyond having a good time and one of the main places to do so was the role-playing section of the forum I mentioned earlier. It was a place generally used for one of two things. One of them was mock duels some of us took part in. One member could challenge another and would chose a type of arena to fight in (which went as far as picking the landscape and weather conditions, if applicable) and the rules for the duel (including which weapons to use). The participants would then, in turn, write out their moves in the duel using forum posts. I remember taking part in duels quite frequently and I believe one of them is still going after all these years! XD
The other use for the role-play section was, obviously, role-play. This took the form of post-by-post stories, pretty much always set in the Star Wars universe, written by all participants. One person would start a thread, explain which setting it took place in and then everyone who wanted could create a character (who was usually based on ourselves within the EJO) and jump in. It was here where I really started writing more actively than I had for some time before it. One of these role-play sessions would eventually lead me to begin writing Star Wars fan fiction and expand the Star Wars universe even further.
It is the stories that took place in the role-play forum of the EJO and the ones that followed it that will be the focus of the upcoming entries for the Ghosts of Writing Past, all of them dedicated to a magnificent place I am not ashamed to call home and the wonderful people that inhabited it. To each and every one of you… May the Force be with you!