Seeing as Star Wars: The Force Awakens is soon to be upon us, I, like any other film blogger out, am going to cast my mind back to yester year when I first saw Star Wars.
To be honest, I don't actually remember when exactly it was. But I remember seeing the film taped off the TV, my family were great for taping movies not buying them, except Disney. It has advert breaks too and it was an old brown TV with an ancient VHS player. Things were slightly out of focus (I swear) or maybe just softer. And in true family tradition, I saw The Empire Strikes Back first. I didn't actually see A New Hope until much later. This happened with quite a few films, hence the tradition. I seemed to watch Ghostbusters 2 first, The Temple of Doom first, Back to the Future 2 first. It's odd that.
Of course, having grown up on such delights as 80's, 70s and 90s movie classics as well as a few random choices into the mix. I was also brought up on a catalogue full of old 'black and white' movies, especially the Marx Brothers films. With excellent film education, of course I loved Star Wars.
The fact it was a story or saga set in space didn't even enter my mind. All I saw were ships, lightsabers, aliens, Chewie yelling, hating Lando and getting very distressed when Luke lost his hand. The famous line, 'I am your father', was just a line to me then. I hadn't grasped how big a plot point this was, even after I watched Return of the Jedi. Watching all three together, the penny dropped.
After I saw the whole trilogy I'm afraid I didn't run out and buy lots of merchandise, I wasn't obsessed. I did all that when I was 13 years old with Lord of the Rings. But I did frequently watch the Star Wars films over and over until the Empire Strikes Back video jumped in places. But my parents still refused to buy the real videos.
Years later, going to college and Uni, I met others who grew up on Star Wars and, after years in secondary school where they all thought I liked 'boys' films, I was free to talk Star Wars as much as possible. I got more into the Star Wars universe but shamefully, I still don't own any of the DVDs. Yet. I was put off massively by the prequel films which I dislike intently. Then again by the added CGI garb added to the original trilogy.
The 'hype' of the new trilogy, or at least the new film was felt by everyone, or anybody who ever liked, watched, remembered Star Wars and what a huge effect it had on everyone. I swear every year at London Comic cons people go crazy for the films and there are always dozens of talks, signings and such things to keep Star Wars fresh in our minds. Obviously this year was the lead up to one of the best films of the year. Or set to be one of the best films of the year.
My friends are Star Wars fans and my sister is a Star Wars fans, my brother-in-law is also a Star Wars fan. Even my physio is a Star Wars fan. In a way its comforting to be able to completely geek out about these films with everyone. Free from the judgement of secondary school, its just a breath of fresh air. I was able to go completely crazy of The Hobbit without many people thinking I was odd. Star Wars is just such a huge phenomemnon it cannot be ignored and any lover of sci-fi and films has a special place for Star Wars.
This seems to be turning into 'what Star Wars means to me' but I just wanted to share the first time I saw the films and how theu have evolved for me. Like any super nerd, I pre-booked tickets for the film and I actually wanted to see it in IMAX, the Force demanded it. Once I've seen it, I won't post a review at the risk of spoiling anything. But I am super excited!
To all Star Wars fans - may the Force be with you and you love the film.