I was there at midnight to see The Force Awakens with all the other generations of Star Wars fans. I remember 1977 (just) – Paeroa, 5 years old and being awestruck with the story jolting some philosophical curiosity lose. Returning in my 40’s with my storm trooper t-shirt I felt right at home, like my tribe had converged from all walks of life. The approving nods, one liners that offer a secret hand shake of sorts. My expectations were muted and whilst I enjoyed the sense of nostalgia my heart wasn’t moved, it was a little too deja vu. No spoilers here but perhaps what I do feel sad about is the mystery of The Force. I’m also a bit perplexed about this galaxy far far away and it’s parenting practices. If there were social services of any kind they should have targeted that skywalker line and done some serious family therapy. Perhaps a family group conference for the Solo/Skywalker clan is needed with a few ghostly ring ins – Qui Gon, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and maybe Anakin – if he is over his whining. Hollywood could do with ending its dependence on Freudian psychoanalysis to develop its plots and character development. Actually there was a character played by Max von Sydow who looked remarkably like Freud…but he was shafted by a blade of light.
It’s a bit of a romp down memory lane, like a high school reunion of sorts. Where memories of the past are jumbled with the present but the familiarity is comforting to a degree. But here are a couple of strengths of star wars that are worth mentioning:
- Diversity is the norm – people don’t question each other if they seem to be able to understand another species or even a droid/robot.
- Age is a relative thing – some live thousands of years others much shorter and there aren’t long winded lectures to young’uns about it.
- Difference is expected but if you are at the pub – respect the rules and the patrons or you will be out on your ass – or asses.
- Technology hand-me-downs are ok – light sabres for example seem to be fine – no-one says ‘are you kidding? I’m not taking that old thing’.
My new hope is to recapture that mysterious wonder for The Force but maybe it will be about awakening my own senses and perhaps returning to my inner Jedi.