The Last Jedi and Me

Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi photoI was there. Oh yes, I was there. I was one of the original “virgins” who walked into a movie theatre in 1977 – in my case, between to life-size cardboard cutouts of white-armored Stormtroopers, I remember them well – and heard for the first time that iconic music, watched the scroll unfold across the stars, gasped as that starship came and kept coming and coming and coming.

I was there when Carrie Fisher first put up those unforgettable hair buns to frame a face still round with youth – she was 19, only a handful of years older than me – and turned into the princess who would change my life.

I was there when Luke Skywalker, God help his sweet naïve wet-behind-the-ears whiny teenage “but I was just going to go get the power converters!” ass, tried to become the action hero, only to be totally eclipsed when Han Solo first strutted onto the silver screen (and shot first). I was there. I was there.

I was there when they destroyed the first Death Star. I was there when they destroyed the second. I was there to laugh at Yoda’s first grammar-bollixed sentences, to watch him lift a drowned X-wing out of the swamp and tell the young Luke when he said that he “didn’t believe it” that this was the reason that he failed, to hear him utter “No! Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try.”

I was there when Luke (bless Hamill’s soul, he still managed to sound young and naïve, even when he was the young Jedi hope saving the galaxy (and his father) in the darkest hour…) began to turn into the legend. I was there when the Ewoks yub-yubbed their way into everyone’s world, love them or hate them. I was there for it all.

I was also there when they flubbed the next three movies – with a story like “how does a man become Darth Vader” it might have been hard to imagine how they could mess that up, but they did it, and how. I was there. Let’s not talk about that.

When “The Force Awakens” burst onto our screens a couple of years ago, I was there for that, too, and I was now the ageing grey-haired elder in the audience. I went there to see what happened to the characters who had once so comprehensively built themselves into the foundations of the world I had built for myself to live in. Continue reading