I have to admit right off the bat that I never was a super Star Wars fan. Yes, I saw the originals when they came out in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, and I did like them, but I didn’t return to the theatre again and again like some folks I knew.
When the new trilogy came out more tha two decades later, it was my children who drew me back and I enjoyed both the old and the new movies through little boys’ eyes. On top of watching the movies (over and over), thanks again to my sons, I got to play with all the Star Wars toys: every movie character (Jabba the Hut was my favourite), and a few incredible models – the Millennium Falcon and a giant Walker were especially great – that we used to relive movie scenes as well as create our own adventures.
It is amazing how fun and freeing it was to set aside the real world for a short time and live in my sons’ Star Wars universe where we could do anything, be anyone, set aside the logical and even defy the laws of gravity if we so chose. I remember the conversations that took place between characters, and the sparkle in my older son’s eyes when he escaped in the Falcon; I can hear the giggle of his younger brother who, though invariably relegated to play supporting characters, was beyond excited to be part of his brother’s world.
For Halloween one year, both boys dressed up as Jedi Knights, complete with light sabers and “rat-tails’ braids like Anakin Skywalker. I think I had as much, if not more, fun than they did watching their antics throughout the day. Alas, I don’t believe I dressed up that year, a Jabba outfit being a little beyond my limited sewing skills.
For my part, I recognized how privileged I was to be a part of this fantasy, to be included in their world, in this fleeting time and space.
So, when the making of the new Star Wars movies was announced, I admit to being pretty excited. Over the years, I had become invested in the characters and their storylines, and I was anxious to see how the next chapters would evolve. Although I didn’t see the movie until a few weeks after its release, I was able to avoid spoilers, and so it was a pure experience of fun and wonder. I cheered when original characters appeared on screen for the first time (my apologies to those in the theatre with me who were not the trusty, and understanding, younger son and friend who accompanied me to the show), came to know and immediately love the new ones, and many times sat on the edge of my seat during the tense action. In short, I was like a kid again.
I will include no spoilers in this blog. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed every minute of the movie, with the awe of a child, and the freedom of an adult to simply enjoy without worrying about how completely uncool I allowed myself to be. I understand that the next installment will not be out until sometime in 2017. The anticipation of the next adventures for me will be half the fun. In the meantime, I might just have to go back to the theatre to see The Force Awakens again – I suspect it will not be a hard sell to convince my older son to join me once again in the fantasy world that we both loved so much as he was growing up.
Next up: More silliness at Clifton Hill.