I remember with great fondness watching the original trilogy on VHS on an almost weekly basis as well as the original animated series and spin offs such as the Ewoks movie Caravan of Courage. It’s safe to say that I was quite fond of Star Wars. I wouldn’t claim to have the encyclopaedic knowledge of the series and characters as some of my other friends growing up and some of the hard-core fans out there but I still comfortably rate Empire Strikes Back as one of my top five favourite films. The series is also a huge factor in my obsession with film scores as from the point I heard John Williams’ opening fanfare I was hooked.
As a child getting new toys is a big event so when my older brother came home one day, shortly after my first viewing of A New Hope, with a massive box full of Star Wars toys it was like Christmas had come early. Beyond that point I would receive new character a week and one vehicle a month to add to the collection and integrate into the epic adventures me and my friends would create in my parents’ garage during the school holidays and weekends. We could occasionally get away with leaving our toys in place overnight and keep my dad from parking his car in the garage but mostly we had to draw diagrams to remind us what went where if a suitable conclusion hadn’t been reached. Yes, it was serious stuff.
I can’t think of a film that has matched the levels of excitement reached in advance of the release of The Phantom Menace, even if it was dampened slightly by the spoilerific track listing on the soundtrack released some time before the film came out. Unfortunately with these incredibly high expectations (double ended light sabre! how could it not be amazing?) came crushing disappointment as the film failed to live up to the high expectations that myself and billions of others had. I have revisited it a number of times and have warmed to it even though I still regard it as the worst of the series, nut am still happy to read defences of it. One of which will be on here shortly from what I understand.
As I’ve got older and my tastes have evolved and toys have long since been sold I no longer watch the series with the frequency I once did (not even bi-annually now) but Star Wars will always have a special place in my heart. My memories of my early experiences with the films and toys are very fond indeed and despite the incessant changes to the original trilogy over the years and the under-whelming prequels I’m still looking forward to the Blu-Ray releases immensely secretly hoping that I’ll be able to recapture that sense of child like wonder and joy as I sit down to watch them all once again. This time I’ll be doing so with a daughter who at the time will be about 2 months old so probably won’t fully appreciate what’s going on but hey; you gotta start them early right?!