A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a schoolboy went to a cinema to watch a film and came away feeling the force for a whole week. Today I went to the cinema again, to the lunchtime showing to avoid schoolboys – and girls, as this was the last day of school before the Christmas break.
Is there anyone like me who still calls the first film Star War, not A New Hope, and was totally disinterested in the prequels? I don’t go to the cinema usually and it has to be a film I really really want to see. The draw was to see what had happened to original characters.
Fifteen years ago, I had discovered at the library that the story went on well after Jedi. I remember reading The Thrawn trilogy which I had read somewhere the new films were based on, but I didn’t recognise anything in the new film. From my recollection of the books; Luke was running a Jedi academy and Han and Leia were married with three children including twins – Jaina and Jacen.
In fact I was so caught up in the continuing stories I actually wrote to George Lucas on 1st October 2000 and suggested he continue the story via a TV series. I pointed out that two so so films had made really successful TV series – in the US if not here – being Stargate and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I did get a reply saying that there were no plans to continue at that time along with an R2D2 bookmark.
When I heard the characters were coming back I was expecting a bit of what had been written but was surprised. The same start of course and there are a number of parallels with Star Wars but it isn’t really that much of a continuation of the previous characters story, the baton being passed to the new characters who, there is no doubt, are strong stuff, and can keep the saga going.
I did though leave the cinema feeling strangely saddened and I don’t know whether it was the complete sucker punch I didn’t see coming or just realising from watching the original cast how much time has passed when at times I still feel like that schoolboy who felt the force.