I was born in 1972. The first toys I truly remember were the Kenner/Palitoy Star Wars figures and sets. These became a staple of my childhood and early teenage years. I was taken to the cinema to watch each film and afterwards begged to have the latest set. My collection was massive. It was a merchandisers dream, but that is what the franchise was about. Making a good verses bad world that was simple and had great characters to bring the themes and action sequences to life. As a child that is all I wanted in that bubble of imagination. It was either Tom Bakers Doctor Who being taken to a new world to meet the Denys Fisher K1 robot, Dalek or Cyberman or Kenner/Palitoy and the ATAT walker on the planet Hoth attacking the rebel base as it is defended by snowspeeders. I loved both worlds and characters. Yes, I was probably spoilt but I can say it was a whole heap of fun. Those toys were played with constantly.
So what is the point of my blog? I do not want to go into Star Wars lore as, for me, it boils down to one point and that is how each viewers imagination is different. All films are like this. It does not matter if one is a thriller, war epic, musical or romance we all have our own imagination to hold the thoughts a film may trigger. This is where I feel the Star Wars audience falls into two distinct groups. There are those that are hardcore fans who have their own opinion of the way a Star Wars film should be. The second group are enthusiasts who will watch a film and talk about themes and reasons. I mention this now due to seeing reactions to the latest sequels since Disney brought it all back to life. I myself really love all the Disney versions, the last one ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ having me go back to watch it three times, twice being at one of the UK’s largest IMAX screens in the National Science and Media museum at Bradford (unheard of me doing such an act!)
It brings me onto hardcore fans of Star Wars. I made the mistake of involving myself in a debate trying to stick up for all Star Wars film. Although the prequels such as The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones are not my favourites, and I tend not to visit them, the reason is that I do come from the original films where good and bad were in conflict. These were uncomplicated films involving redemption and family enhanced by puppetry and real sets. A number of years ago I could have a great debate about the merits of the franchise but now it is best to stay quiet online. If I had the Doctor’s Tardis and could go back in time, what would I tell my younger self? I surely would leave him to play with those Palitoys using his own imagination fuelled by great characters and stories.
The 2020 Bafta awards ignored Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. It is a set of films that are based in the UK, employing numerous trades and actors. What was a true showing of the reason the talent of the Star Wars sequels at Disney have reinstalled the magic of the originals, in my opinion, is the person who received the Fellowship award at Bafta this year. That person is Kathleen Kennedy who has been the president of Lucasfilm since 2012. Her past history as a film producer (since 1981) is really a line up of popular culture. These include Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, The Goonies, ET and Jurassic Park to name only a tiny portion of Kathleen’s huge back catalogue. Not only has she brought on such brilliant talent but within the organisation Kathleen has generated more female employees. Making sure the expertise fits in with the roles.
Personally I really feel the franchise has been in her safe hands and can not wait for the future too. The Mandalorian is another example of the brilliant output. Disney Plus will help add more as time goes on. The future is bright for the Star Wars enthusiast. I am really glad that I do have this blog. I would not get involved with comments on social forums due to the negativity they emanate. I feel sorry for those that are not happy with any aspect of others imagination and direction. If most spent their time enjoying the sights and sounds we have been treated to then they would be much happier internally. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Joonas Suotama and Oscar Issac are just a selection of the new talent highlighted by the sequels. So, to conclude, I will watch all the new Star Wars films with the excitement and wonder of the original three. I have bought them in all formats and watch at least one a month (usually in my favourite 3d) There are only a few blu-rays that I keep that interest in, Marvel and Doctor Who being two others. I will now avoid all online discussions regarding Star Wars, instead it is best to speak with friends and it definately helps when you have your own blog too! Here I can show my enthusiasm with enjoyment and peace. Very much like watching Star Wars at the cinema as both a child and adult.