It's hard now to explain the effect that Star Wars had in the late seventies.
I'm an almost textbook example. It was the first film I saw. I was six years of age and we were on holidays down the Gower and my Grandfather took me and my brother to see it.
I was mesmerised from the start. And the key was this. They didn't just create a world you believed in but a whole universe.
Now my Grandfather was a cool guy. He loved Sinatra, Capra and bought his suits from Saville Row. He didn't say things lightly but I remember getting back to the caravan and my Father saying. “What’s it like?” And my Grandfather replied, “It’s outstanding. From the moment it starts you're in.” I’ll always remember that.
Anyway, I wasn't just in I was Luke. No serious… no laughing here… I WAS Luke. My Mother dines out on telling people I wouldn't even answer to Jonathan (only my Mam calls me Jonathan) any more..it was Luke.
“Jonathan!! Your tea’s ready, come on!”
Silence from upstairs...
“Luke! Come on, before it goes cold!”
Down the stairs I’d bomb.
Now you could argue this is because I was six years of age, but here's why it was a film that captured everyone's imagination . When I was an adult there was a noise I had in my head (bear with me here) and it was the sound of the earth spinning. It’s hard to explain, but it was the sound you hear when it's deathly quiet and you’re out somewhere and high up. Like a mountain top. It's especially when you lie out flat. You should try it. It's like you get we're in space, all of us. Suspended but spinning.
So this noise. I wondered where I got it from and when I went to see the digitally remastered Star Wars and there was that sound! I almost jumped out of my seat and I realised it was a childhood thing that this film gave me. It fed your imagination. Made you dream. Made you aware. That was Star Wars.
Now I get the later films were poor (it's the old Trainspotting 'downward trajectory' analogy) but the first three were utterly brilliant. Seriously...they were life defining. In the days before VHS and pirate copies then you watched something once and that was it. After that it was left to you to recreate it in your own image. And that's what we all did as kids. We played Star Wars for months afterwards.
Before I finish let me say there'll be some who come on here now and go, I never 'got' Star Wars. Or 'I never bothered watching them.’
Don’t be angry or try to argue. There’s no point. Just pity them because if they didn't then their world is poorer, whereas us… well we had the whole fucking universe to play in baby.
May the force be with you.