In the summer of 1982 I was 6 years old. There is perhaps no better time in life than being 6 and on summer holiday. What is there to worry about, other than who will play the cowboy and who the Indian?*
That summer my family was the only one around that had a VCR (VHS not Betamax) and a copy of Star Wars on tape. Virtually every day of that long, carefree summer, me and my mates watched Star Wars. I remember counting that by the time we went back to school we had watched it 50 times.
We had all the figures, too, and our own assigned roles. I was Han Solo, Sam Peachey was Lando, James McKie was Chewbacca, Matthew Soley was Luke.
Star Wars was my childhood. Christmas and birthdays supplied the latest Kenner toys (the coolest was the AT-AT). My sister Karen bought me figures. My first was Lobot. My earliest memory in life was watching Empire Strikes Back with Karen at the cinema. I remember the snow of Hoth and the big, dark head of Darth Vader against the backdrop of space.
This is why so many of us who should know better go ga-ga over these films–they take us to a wonderful, peaceful place. Lucas really let us down with I and II, but we still forgave him. Sith was much, much better. With my son Jacob in tow, the “circle is now complete.”
I played an evil trick on Jacob: wanting to have Sith hold some surprises I kept reminding him that Ben Kenobi told Luke that Darth Vader killed his father. Anakin couldn’t be Vader! So when Anakin was left charred and bereft by his friend and mentor Obi-Wan, Jacob was devastated! The menacing figure that stepped onto the Blockade Runner in 1977 was his hero Anakin.
What do we Star Wars geeks do now? How else can I capture the nostalgia of 1982? Something tells me that Star Wars is going nowhere (no-one gives up a license to print money). I would be delighted if that galaxy far, far away still exists when my Obi-Wan becomes the crazy-Ben of Tatooine.
*More non-Pc games included English versus Germans, or in 1982, English versus Argentinians.