This week I returned to that galaxy far, far away and rewatched Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope . When I first saw it a long time ago we just called it Star Wars but back then it was a more civilised age.
Anyway, it was the first time I'd watched the 1977 original in about a decade, give or take. But as you're never far, far away from Star Wars these days - whether its via new movies or shows, walking around on t-shirts, dank memes on your socials, or even just the more general Star Wars-ian pop cultural detritus floating around - it really didn't feel like it.
There he is! Old mate Luke moaning about life on the moisture farm. There she is! Poor old Princess Leia witnessing the destruction of her home planet Alderaan and then sassing everyone out after quickly getting over it. There they are! That old rogue Han Solo and his hetero life mate Chewbacca smuggling their way around the galaxy, shooting alien bounty hunters first (or second... or simultaneously... depending on which version you watch) and asking questions later.
The old gang. Back together again. Zipping about the galaxy full of youth and vim in a fun, action packed space adventure that would end up spanning decades.
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I rewatched the movie for the umpteenth time with two pals who hadn't seen it before. Yes, I couldn't believe it either. I would have thought that even if you were as fiercely uninterested in space movies as they were Star Wars would still be unavoidable - like death and taxes.
But nope! Never happened for these two. They didn't know a Stormtrooper from a Sith Lord. And that's fair enough; one's peak millennial and the other's whatever post-millennials are.
My Gen-X idea was to be their Obi-Wan Kenobi, guiding their fates and imparting wisdom as required. Which would have been a better analogy had they known who Obi-Wan Kenobi was. Which they didn't. Still, I was there to answer any and all questions when needed. And they were needed almost immediately.
No, that's Luke not Han Solo. No, that's not Luke's dad that's Obi-Wan Kenobi. No, the incest isn't in this one.
fanboys are probably snickering into their officially licensed Baby Yoda coffee cups right now but I considered these fair questions.
Not because Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope is a particularly difficult film to follow, it's not, she's pretty straightforward mate, but rather because the monumental impact of the thing had such a tremendous influence on the world of pop culture and entertainment that even if you've never seen a Star War there's oodles of random bits and pieces sloshing about in your brain and you can probably piece together a fairly serviceable narrative based on everything you've absorbed over the forty years its been influencing films, television and toy shelves.
For me revisiting where the Star Wars phenomenon began was a blast. The nostalgic force of composer John Williams' legendary soundtrack acting like a time travel machine, instantly transporting me back to being that wide-eyed kid who was whisked away to a fantastical alien world full of adventure, danger and romance and where good would triumph over evil if you just believed hard enough. My younger friends found the movie's slow pace a bit dull.
But for me what really hit with this viewing was the time. Remembering being a kid and looking up to our heroes as the coolest older cats in the galaxy and now seeing them as a bunch of fresh faced young kids. When the heck did that happen?
And this Thursday with the release of Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker it all comes to an end. Not The End, of course. Star Wars will never end. Just the end of the long and convoluted story I've been watching, playing, raving and ranting about for damn near my whole life.
So yes, I've got my tickets and am really looking forward to seeing it, but I'm also a little sad that this, friends, is goodbye.
Like the traditional myths and fables of the 'hero's journey' that originally inspired it, Star Wars will live on. That is its destiny. New heroes will battle new villains and embark on new journeys while new wars rage in the stars.
And the events of the Skywalker saga, that's thrilled four generations of cinema goers will slip further and further away and eventually people won't remember if it was Han Solo who was Luke's dad or not and that new hope will fade into a distant memory of something that happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.