Thursday, 17 December 2015
Star Wars and me
I was a teenager and my best mate Steve went to see it and was so exaggeratedly excited that I thought it must be shit. Then, being 1977, it had gone from the cinema before too long and there was no VHS yet, so that was that. Steve still had a Millennium Falcon* hanging from his bedroom ceiling which was the only reminder of this film that otherwise was a non event in my memory.
Then I saw Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and underwent the mind-bowing experience about what a sci fi film could be that changed my expectations forever. Surely no scifi film could ever top that. Then I saw Alien which remains one of my Top 10 favourite films of all time. It was realistic it was unlike any sci fi film there had ever been. This was the future and I was there to see it.
Then, a couple of years later when I was a student, I saw Empire Strikes Back. The experience was marred by being there with fellow students on magic mushrooms whose trip through hyperspacewas accompanied by louds "shiiiiiiits" and "fuuuuucks", giving the 8 year olds in the adjoining seats quite an education. The film itself left less of an impact. It began in a polystyrene cave with a man in a monkey suit, and went on to feature Fozzie Bear's voice talking over a wrinkled Kermit.
Whatever it was, it wasn't Alien, and I realised Star Wars would never be for me. (Years later I saw Star Wars on VHS and thought "you had to be there.")
*PS: Steve Noble writes: It was a *TIE Fighter*!!!!!
(In response to a post by Doug Segal, re never having cared for Die Hard, I write:)
There's the making of a good thesis here somewhere. The religiosity I've seen around Star Wars and other obsessive cult media is fascinating. I realise there are things about which I cannot be totally objective (Doctor Who in my case, Batman in yours) and others that people try to persuade me towards that hold no attraction, or that I try and appreciate but just find don't work for me (Pink Floyd and Star Wars would be top of my meh list). Where in the brain does this lie? What in our cultural development forges these tastes and affiliations? Oh for another life as a neuroscientist.