There is a date in December marked on my calendar. It is marked with a large asterisk and I am counting down the days. People all over the country counting down to this day. Each day they look at the calendar and double check how many days to go.
Because something is happening this December. Something so exciting that people all over the world are desperately counting down every minute with impatience. Because at last it will be here. Finally, after years of waiting we will get to see the new Star Wars film.
Star Wars fans are actually a diverse lot. There are many reasons to love the film. But whoever they are, whatever level of obsession they might have they are all super excited about this new film; ‘…that trip to a Galaxy far, far away is also a trip back into their childhood, when they first went into the cinema to watch the very first film…reliving the experience.’ Says Chris Brennan, The Director of Star Walking Inc, the “STAR WARS” Appreciation Society of Australia. That is indeed what we are all thinking.
I vividly remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back at the cinema. I was very young and my main memory is being terrified by Darth Vader. But the memory is strong. The Star Wars trilogy was watched pretty much as soon as we first owned a video recorder. Meeting my husband consolidated my love for the films. He was a fan too so we were both eager to re-watch the films when they were updated and re-released.
I am perhaps not as obsessed about Star Wars as some people. I don’t even own a costume though I must admit to loving pretend lightsaber fights with my six year old son. But during all the prequel nonsense where Star Wars was resurrected with the disappointing parts 1,2 and 3 I hoped along with many other fans that the original cast would get back together and we would see what happened after Return of The Jedi.
Years went past and it didn’t happen. Then, at last it was announced that part 7 would be made. Then there were leaks from the set. Yes Harrison Ford will star! Then we had a title. Then a trailer. Each trailer release pretty much crashed the Internet.
Now we’re counting down the days till The Force Awakens opens in Australia and at last we can all see what happened to the original characters after the screen went black on Return of The Jedi.
My son has been a fan for months and knows more characters than I do. A whole new generation is excited about this new film. The moment for me was the trailer that featured Harrison Ford as Han Solo standing with Chewbacca and saying, ‘We’re home Chewie.’ My heart raced and my excitement knew no bounds. Suddenly, I was an excited child again. Han Solo and Chewie! They’re back.
So what is it that makes relatively normal people like me so excited? Brennan thinks there are many different factors involved. Of course there is the nostalgia element, but there is something about the Star Wars universe and characters that just draws people in; ‘Star Wars is so many different things to different people. To some people it’s all about the escapism. Good vs Evil. Space battles. To others it’s about the technology, the ships, the robots and the “feel” of the Star Wars universe…’
So fans can’t wait to see what is happening in the Star Wars Universe, or what the new characters will bring or how the old characters have faired. Some fans just love; ‘watching the film and then being able to wear a costume that you’ve created and then getting lost in the character.’ Brennan says.
But we are all crossing our fingers that this new film is faithful to the original trilogy rather than the prequels. Because as much as fans stayed loyal most of us had issues with the second set of films. They didn’t quite fit. There were inconsistencies and of course the Jar Jar Binks charter was loathed by pretty much everyone.
So what we have here is a chance for the franchise to redeem itself. This is one of the reasons fans are so excited. Chris suggests that “I think fans are hoping for a good film, something that has elements of the original trilogy, but also something that excites them too.”
So we wait and as we wait we have all, yes even me, spent money already on tickets and merchandise and will continue to do so. Yes we are a little bit obsessed. Walking into a store and seeing a whole section dedicated to Star Wars with everything from key rings to dressing gowns must seem bizarre to those people who are not lovers of the franchise. But to us it makes perfect sense. Star Wars is about good triumphing over evil, it is about good but quirky people, it is escapism as its finest. So many forms of entertainment all brought together.
So maybe you are counting down the days too? I know Chris Brennan is. He will no doubt let us know what he thinks of the movie once he has seen it. Until then I will leave the last word to him; ‘I myself, can’t wait to see the original cast back up on the big screen, but I’m also hanging out to see how the new characters work with the storyline. One thing I think most fans can agree on is NO JAR JAR BINKS.’