Sunday, 28 November 2010
A long time ago, in a cinema far, far away...
Please give me a moment of your time. Lets just take time to sit in an imaginary room... Yes, thats it... All of us. Cast your minds back... back... back...
Look at us. Little Billy, Darren, ooh and Martin in the corner there. Garys here as well. Mark, David, Peter, James & Joe, that tom-boy Lorraine, and even that smelly kid with the sticky toys, Steven. Aahh, who could forget him farting loudly in assembly and then shitting himself later in PE?
The one thing that united us in our days of formative infancy? Was it our favourite hymn in assembly? Was it whether Scrappy Doo had ruined Scooby Doo? Was it those watery, oh-so-not-heinz spaghetti hoops served with that lumpy mash at school dinners? No...
STAR WARES! Star Wars reigned supreme 1977 thru... FOREVER. Between 1977-1984 alone, Kenner had sold 300 million Star Wars figures to the likes of our smiling, fat little faces and pudgey grasping mittens.
Whether you had bought them from James Selbys in Holloway, Harvey Johns in Parkway or even the 80s shopping mecca, Brent Crosss, we all brought our Star Wars figures in to school. We threw them at each other, rough-housed with them, stuck them into each others orifices, little knowing that they would be worth a small fortune if we had been the wierd, twisted, outcasts of humanity who'd actually kept them in their unopened packets.
We pulled the light-sabres out (come on, you know you used to call them light-savers, or some other misheard derivative), lost all those fiddly, little guns they came with, only to borrow mis-sized ones from other toys as a substitute, I even remember biting the antennae off of Greedo in a fit of rage! The 3.75" action figure had been born, and Kenner's stroke of genius would be copied ad infinitum. (Yes, yes, Im aware of Matel's 6.1" Masters of the Universe range.)
School playtimes were filled with an unholy chorus of 'eeuuuuoogh..... eeuuuuoogh.... eeuuuoogh' as we ran rabidly around the playground shooting imaginary lasers at each other. Sure, there might have been an occaisonal game of Battlestar Galactica, or if we were feeling cheeky, even a game of Battle Beyond the Stars, but the staple chant of the Playground was 'Whooo wants to play Staaaar Waaars!'
'eeuuuuoogh..... eeuuuuoogh.... eeuuuoogh' to playground stabbings... Where did it all go so wrong?
The Star Wars experience defined an entire generation. Those strange, strange people, our age, you sometimes meet, who plead ignorance and say they have never seen the films, are either those sad knobbers who have tried to add a bit of alternate mystique into their identities by lieing, and by pretending they dont have TVs, or are the ones who had really, wierd parents who refused to let their kids do anything fun or imaginative in the hope they would grow into sociopaths, serial killers or accountants.
I was one of the lucky ones who saw the original Star Wars (A New Hope) at the Dominion Theatre (yes the one at Tottenham Court Rd.) with both, thats right BOTH of my parents. Forget one liking horror and the other liking sci-fi, this felt like a history shaking event that the whole family had to be party to. And we were.
We were there. BANG! 1977, Dominion Theatre, watching Star Wars for the very first time. FUCK YEAH! My No.1 seminal sci-fi moment.
Yes, I am a Star Wars child. I lived it. I loved it. You would have to categorically prove the entire cast of the original trilogy were all paedophiles in order to even dent my sacred memories.
I still recall being on a bus with my mum and suddenly having an anxiety attack about growing up.
'What if I stopped liking Star Wars?' I thought. I think that dreaded song Puff the Magic Dragon was responsible. Jacky Papers growing up and forgetting about his old friend Puff? That song used to really upset me. I remember on that bus promising myself that growing up would not change me. That fickle little Jacky Papers fucker! WHERE ARE YOU PUFF?
We have all seen the original film (except for aforementioned wierdos) so rather than a replay of our favourite scenes, heres some rarer trailers and commercials from the 70s & 80s. Some of them are... strange... but interesting.
How could Star Wars not be at No.1 of any Sci fi list?
Big D out.