Impatience And Loss Beyond The Stars

IMG_0225When I was eight years old, my mother took my brother and I to see the new Star Wars movie. We were both immediately hooked. My brother had the toys; the light sabre, the Millennium Falcon, the X-Wing Fighter, the figurines. I know he wishes he still had them now. I loved the stories – the fantasy, the faraway galaxies, the struggle between light and dark and all the complicated relationships that went along with it. I might have had a crush on Luke Skywalker, too. And I thought Princess Leia was the luckiest princess in all the galaxies, despite all that she went through.

When the sequels were announced, my brother and I devoured every snippet of information, our impatience at the wait between films boundless. This was before the Internet, before pirate footage and leaked set shots, before we had access to fan fiction and groups and tabloids. We were kids, and, while our dad worked with computers from the earliest days, our lives were still far removed from dashing deeds in distant galaxies. When episode VI was announced it was originally called Revenge of the Jedi instead of Return of the Jedi – it was changed after Lucas decided that Jedi did not take revenge, as it was against their code of honour. If only we’d managed to get one of the early promo pieces featuring the original name – they’re worth a fortune today, apparently. What we did collect was bubblegum cards, spending all our pocket money and trading until we each had a complete set of Return of the Jedi cards. I still have my set today.

This Boxing Day just past my brother and I went to see Rogue One together, almost forty years after we saw Star Wars. And just a day later, the original kick-ass princess left us all, gone to a place beyond the stars. 2016 has seen the passing of so many great names and, in its final moments, does not seem to want to go quietly, stealing not just one but three names from my youth: George Michael, Richard Adams and Carrie Fisher.

May they all find peace, in the fields beyond.

This is my response, a day late, to both the 30 Day writing challenge prompt: Impatience, and the lamented passing of Carrie Fisher, George Michael and Richard Adams.

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May The Fourth Be With You

I wanted to use a flashy Star Wars image but copyright and all that. So instead, here are my fabulous bubble gum cards :-)

I wanted to use a flashy Star Wars image but copyright and all that. So instead, here are my fabulous bubble gum cards 🙂

Oh yes.

Today is the day when I share with you my deep and abiding love for the original three Star Wars films. (Let us never speak of the other three episodes).

Why today? Well, it’s International Star Wars day and, while I haven’t put my hair in donuts or got my light sabre out (what?), I may sit down and revisit a time long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

I remember the first Star Wars movie coming out (yes, I am dating myself), and I also remember the magic of seeing it for the first time. My brother and I were instantly hooked. I can recall the huge excitement of being taken to see The Empire Strikes Back in the cinemas – the trailer before the main feature was for Alien and it terrified me. And I remember the absolute fever pitch that came when the third movie was announced – Revenge of the Jedi. This was the original title and oh, how I wish we had bought merchandise that featured it. It was changed quite quickly to Return of the Jedi, as Jedi knights don’t take revenge.

My brother had all the stuff and sometimes, he’d let me play with it too. He even had a Darth Vader head that opened up to reveal compartments in which to keep all his action figures. He had a Millennium Falcon big enough to put your mini Han Solo and Chewbacca inside, plus an X-Wing fighter and countless figurines. He had a light sabre and a whole bunch of other stuff. I think he sometimes wishes he still had them, to be honest (I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that).

I still have my complete collection of Return of The Jedi bubble gum cards. My brother and I spent our pocket money for weeks on end, both of us trying to get the full set, trading with each other until we both got there. I don’t think it’s worth much – you see them quite often on Ebay, but to me it’s a reminder of a time when Luke Skywalker’s blue eyes and all-black Jedi outfit stirred something in pre-teen me, when Han Solo kissing Princess Leia was a pretty big deal.

I also have the DVD’s featuring the first set of changes made by George Lucas, when the magic of the originals was still allowed to shine through. (I refuse, absolutely refuse to entertain the idea of Darth Vader shouting at the end when he stops the Emperor killing Luke). And so I shall sit down today and watch them, the thrill of those opening credits in yellow rolling across the darkness of space one that never fades, the familiar music making me smile.

And I am ridiculously, childishly excited by the prospect of the new Star Wars film. It looks to have captured the feel of the original. So how about my fellow bloggers out there – any Star Wars fans among you?

Happy day, everyone. May the Fourth be with you. xx