This was me, its the early 80’s and Return of the Jedi has just come out, I’ve seen it on pirate VHS, I had already caught the other films out of sequence on TV, I only saw Empire once at my friend’s house when his Dad spoiled it by telling us at the beginning the truth about Darth Vader. Mostly however, I have these toys and my imagination, a small scrap of garden in front of the house, the staircase, bedroom or anywhere I could get lost in my own was devoted to space adventure and the characters, adventure, colour and excitement which was 100 times more fun that anything else going on around me. Even when the other kids had forgotten and moved on, I had the worn plastic figures crystallised in my psyche and with the exception of Batman, no other fad came close to the dedication I had for Star Wars.
Every adult nerd, you may know one or be one yourself, has their own story, those movies were the first of their kind, multi marketed cash machines for selling toys, pyjamas, soup or whatever but the movies themselves are terrifically entertaining and work on their own right. I know all the arguments, I’m not here to rehash or add to the internet back and forth about the minutia of the Franchise, that’s for others, I’m done.
Last night I watched ‘The Last Jedi’, I didn’t hate it but as another chapter of the film series or a movie in it’s own right, its pretty awful, I know the web and life in general has become a battle, sometimes hostile, of opinions; ‘I think this, you think that’; endlessly to infinity with no possibility of consensus and that’s really what I’m writing about. Who cares about a couple of kids movies? I’m sure you’re right, do you like a football team? buy the latest kit? Talk about the new player or the best line-up from the past?- What’s the difference? I may be talking about the Star Wars movies but the crux of my argument is this: We are stuck in a loop, they’re remaking movies (King Kong, Power Rangers etc), Rappers may be saying different things but they sure sound the same, Every band seems like a variation of the Rolling Stones, we’re still wearing Jeans and as for youth movements; ‘Hipsters’ are about as limp-wristed as a trend can be.
‘You’re Old, shut up Old man!’ I can hear some of you say, ‘Things were better in the old day’s where they?’ You might be right but I’m sad that we’re living in an echo-chamber where popular culture, social media, government and companies feed us only what we ‘Like’ or ‘Share’, we’re like a pampered house-cat playing a mouse catching App. Most of all I feel sorry for young people, we’ve really let them down, they can’t imagine anything new, probably because they’re too busy taking selfies and confessing their bowel movements in cyber-space. In a way I wish there never was a Star Wars and that some maverick smashed all the iphones in the world by inventing it today, or people got to experience the movies for the first time on an old video and then went into the garden and played with their mates the way I did but mostly I wish I could feel something, anything as I watched the new movie; instead all I thought was that I’ve seen it all before. ‘Cheer up Jim, it’s only a movie’ You’re right of course and I’ve come to peace with modern movies, perhaps I am too old, I still have my toys from when I was a kid and as far as I’m concerned Star Wars are 3 movies from the 70s and early 80s, remember them? We should get the tapes out and watch them some time.