I had to do it didn’t I?
With the chance to blog on this most sacred of days to so many, it would be remiss of me to overlook the chance to at least mention ‘STAR WARS DAY’.
I was an earth shattering, 1 year old when the original film came out. As you may expect, I didn’t see the film in the cinema the first time round and truth be told, I can’t say that I was that fussed. I was more than happy dribbling on stuff and eating anything and everything I could get my hands on (some would suggest nothing has really changed).
The crunch came, for me, when Star Wars was shown on TV in the early 80’s. The TV spots were running, advertising the upcoming event, and as you’d expect for a young impressionable five year old, I couldn’t believe my eyes. All of my friends at school were the same. Each and every one of us was jabbering away (jabbering – get it??) under the effects of the narcotic images. We all saw the adverts and every day in the playground was filled with talk about the upcoming event.
Finally the day arrived and each of us sped off home, knowing that tonight was the night.
But for me it wasn’t.
I had a bed time and the film was going to finish way beyond that bed time. I moaned. My parents were resolute. Not even Star Wars could circumvent bed time. I was crest fallen. They were going to record it for me (VHS – cutting edge as was) but I just knew that for the whole of the following day at school, I was going to be surrounded by so many who’d seen that which was still just a myth for me. I’d have to spend the whole day avoiding spoilers. I didn’t even know what a spoiler was at that point but I just couldn’t risk having the watching of that film lessened by some nasty little spod telling me all of everything that goes on.
The seconds crawled by and eventually, home time.
As you can imagine, the tape was in and playing before I was even out of my coat. I do have a dim memory of my mum trying to delay the watching as long as she could so I could at least eat but I didn’t care if I ever ate again.
From then on, I was hooked. I had the perfect relationship with that film. I could watch it time after time without feeling bored. I still can. Every time my parents went out and the babysitter came round, on went the film. Easy way to keep me quiet for two hours. The horror of that first day at school was replaced by a deep smugness. All those who’d stayed up late to watch it couldn’t hold onto the film (videos weren’t that common back in the day) but I had it at home to watch whenever I wanted.
For me, that film opened my eyes to all manner of possibilities. Stories and dreams tumbled through my head and showed clearly that adventures of this kind, space travel and futuristic technology (even if it was a long time ago) could happen in the same way as things today. The used future made it more accessible and all of the characters just worked.
As an adult I’ve been lucky enough to meet the mighty Dave Prowse, Darth Vader himself, on more than one occasion. I even went to a Christmas do at his brothers gym way back when. I’ll readily admit that I turned into a giggling child when I met Dave. It was Darth Vader!!!! Add to this a fair sprinkling of other actors from the films and my Star Wars fandom is showing no sign of waning.
The new film is on the horizon and is looking good so far. When it’s released, I will be in line with my wife to meet up with old friends. Characters who we haven’t seen in years will be back with a load of new faces.
So here we all find ourselves. Feeling the wonder of our shared obsessions and just loving the terrain in the land of make believe. Stories of all kinds fire our imaginations and on this day we just have to be happy that all the powers of storytelling just keep on giving.
Happy STAR WARS DAY one and all.