(written on train, beware lousy grammar and spelling and reasoning)
What would I give to be excited about the new Star Wars movie?
To lack giddiness for The Force Awakens is to declare yourself a citrus eyed cynic, a joyless grouch, a spent and twisted vessel who spits at rainbows.
Yet I loved the first film, at least I think I did. I remember the excitement over the collectable cards housed with dry gum. My sort of Uncle, a former military man, did not understand why I should be excited by getting hold of card number one (Luke Skywalker), and interrogated me as if he was annoyed by my delight (he was a military man). In a real adult world, card number one is no more remarkable than card 43 (probably the trash compactor), but this was not the real world, this was an eight year old’s world. Number one is special.
I know from the memories of what I did, and from the things blu tacked on my nd from the creased copies of Starburst magazine in that cupboard, that I was enthralled by this new age of boy’s own, laser gun, nobble-headed alien hijinks, but I can’t recapture that joy. I can for Hawk the Slayer or The Monster Club or Battle Beyond the Stars, I still get a little kick of delight watching the original Star Trek series, but something happened with Star Wars and I don’t know what has dispersed its nostalgia. I am pretty sure I enjoyed The Empire Strikes Back, and that at the time of Return of the Jedi I was not perturbed by the introduction of muppets.
Dougal and the Blue Cat delights, but the Star Wars franchise does not.
I could say it is the clunky scripts. I watched TESB or ESB with my son and I was surprised at how plankish the spats between Han and Leia were, close to John Wayne’s Genghis Khan flick (“why, you are beautiful in your wrath”), but this doesn’t stop me enjoying an occasional Blake’s Seven or Space 1999 (and that can be prime teak and dutch elm disease acting).
Too much merchandise, not enough plot?
Too much worry about the shape of the doll, not enough about the shape of the character?
Has the wash of CGI emulsion smeared over the originals subliminally dampened my spirit?
Is it the hype? So much hoopla, I, the obstreperous child, refuse to join in?
I don’t think my inner child is dead. Maybe the childish me has so many outlets he doesn’t need Star Wars too (but I would happily watch anything by Oliver Postgate again and again).
George Lucas was not some cold careerist who, after a parade of focus groups, decided that Tattooine was the cash cow. So I can’t blame THX coldness can I?
I watched Mad Max Fury Road with seat edge delight. I am not against reinvention of the fictions of my past.
I will go and see the new Star Wars. I have no choice, I have a seven year old who may manifest Freudian father ramifications if I don’t take him to the big screen. And watching his wide eyes as he fumbles for popcorn and accidentally eats his own hand may be infectious.
Why does some youthful glee and excitability grow into nostalgia and others die on the vine? I better see a cinetherapist, but I won’t lie on their couch if its Hitchcockian.
Baby, Baby, where did my love go? Probably scavenged by Jawas.
Here is hoping it punches me in the gut as mightily as Mad Max: Fury Road
Book Shambles podcast is back, and our latest guest is Chris Hadfield http://cosmicgenome.com/shambles/ (also Stewart Lee, Sara Pascoe, Laura Duckbill…)
Plus, two nights of music and comedy with Vitriola https://www.thebloomsbury.com/event/run/15049
Shambles podcast will return this week and I am doing a one off full length show in Folkestone robinince.com