Star Wars Day (well, it is if you pronounce ‘force’ in the manner of Violet Elizabeth Bott from Richmal Crompton’s Just William)
I remember a Saturday back in May 2005 when Star Wars III was in the cinemas. I watched Arsenal in the FA Cup Final and then went with my son Michael to see Star Wars at the cinema in Bray.
I also remember a Saturday in May 1978. Arsenal played in the FA Cup Final on a Saturday afternoon and in the evening my dad took me to see Star Wars IV at the Odeon cinema in Yeovil.
At the age of 17, I should have been going to the cinema by myself, but we lived miles from anywhere and I needed a lift and, anyway, my dad was still only 41 years old.
That first Star wars film was just Star Wars to yokels like myself. Only later did I discover that it was Star Wars IV and that there were two to follow and three prequels. Where would I have learned such things? If you lived in the depths of the English West Country, there weren’t many sources of information. I used to think I was in touch with things because I listened to Radio 1.
I remember going to university in 1 in London in 1979 and being laughed at when I admitted I listened to Radio 1, sophisticated people listened to London stations I had never heard of.
I tried to be in touch for a while, reading Time Out magazine and such stuff, but eventually I realized I would always be a yokel and that all the iceboxes in the world couldn’t make me ‘cool’.
Star Wars III, by definition, had to have Star Wars IV as its sequel. When Star Wars IV has been around for more than a quarter of a century, and most people interested have seen it a dozen times, the makers of Star Wars III were necessarily going to be very restricted in their options for and ending to the film.
When the film ended on that Saturday in 2005, I remember being filled with a deep sense of sadness. Of course, this was where I knew it would end, where the film I saw in 1978 began, but I realized that it was Cup Final day and that I was twenty-seven years older and the years had gone in a twinkling of an eye.
We walked down the street in Bray in silence, Michael pondering the intricacies of the plot and I in a deep melancholy.