Right now, with sixty something days to go, whether or not Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is any good or not is the least important thing in the world. (Did you see there how I pretended not to know exactly how long it is until the release date so as to suggest I’m less of a geek than I actually am? It’s this pretence that separates me from the real saddos. It’s a fine line, I’ll admit.)
The fact is that at the moment it is the anticipation that is so much fun. It is as though every day between now and 17th December is Christmas Eve and the excitement is palpable. (See how trying to pretend I am less of a geek than I am is futile?) I know we were here back in 1999 and that time it didn’t work out so well but that only increases the thrill. The Force Awakens is a new hope and as Eleanor Roosevelt once said ‘the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’. I know that this might all lead to a crushing anticlimax but right now that is future me’s problem, not mine. As Tupac once said ‘reality is wrong, dreams are for real’ (and as Douglas Adams once said ‘he was a dreamer, a thinker… or as his wife would have it, and idiot’).
It is just that those first three films were so great and there is a chance some of that magic might come back. I know I am looking at this through nostalgia tinted spectacles but I was one of many, now in their early forties, who’s childhood was defined by George Lucas’ vision. Every penny of my pocket money went towards a new Star Wars figure, every Christmas and birthday brought a new plastic space ship (my favourite was the B-Wing with its gyroscopic cockpit) and every three years, from the time I was four to the time I was ten, brought a new movie. My creative writing in school used the Star Wars characters, loosely disguised because my teachers told me to be more original. We acted out keys scenes in the playground, my reading progressed with the annuals and novelisations and I slept in a Star Wars duvet. (You see why I am like I am? This stuff infused my work, rest and play!) In fact the fact that the prequels have not killed my enthusiasm says a lot about how deeply my love of Star Wars is ingrained.
It isn’t as though I’ve learned nothing from Episodes I, II and III. That whole experience has taught me to temper my delirium (yes, this is me being tempered) and lead me to cherish the lead up. I know that in sixty six days and fourteen hours (oops!) this feeling will be replaced by something else but right now I can’t know what that will be. Whether it is elation or disappointment though, today it doesn’t matter. Right now I’m excited and nothing is taking that away from me.