My most exciting day as a 10-year-old was when my mum brought my brother and me to the local cinema. There was a new Sci-Fi flick out – and apparently it was somewhat amazing. We didn’t go to the cinema often, in fact, this was only the second time in my life. Being a big fan of BBC’s ‘Blakes 7’, this movie would have much to live up to.
Now I wasn’t expecting much, as the year before, we’d gone to see Star Trek the motion picture. Either that film was just weird or I was too young to get it. The special effects were cool but the confusing chronicle lost me.
This movie was called ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. Now I wasn’t sure what they were striking back against, nor why they felt a need to strike back, as I hadn’t seen the first movie, some obscure little unknown low budget film called ‘Star Wars’. So apparently the Empire wasn’t happy and this strike back was called for – so without further ado, into the cinema we went.
You might think two hours and seven minutes is a long time for a 10 year old to sit still and not get at least a little fidgety. However, I was transfixed. As George Lucas and his gang transported me to this amazing galaxy, I could not believe my senses. This was something else.
Darth Vader was the coolest cat I’d ever seen – I wasn’t sure what the force business was but it seemed Vader was all over it – and as a result – unstoppable: I knew early who was doing the striking on the Empire’s behalf. I thought I might bring him along to school to sort out some of the riff-raff, should he be available. Next there was Yoda who looked like he’d escaped from the set of Sesame Street and had serious anger issues. He also sounded like he wanted to die as Luke whinged to him constantly – and who could blame him? Luke wanted to be a Jedi yet he wouldn’t listen to the cantankerous Muppet.
C3PO and R2D2 mesmerised me with their love/hate relationship – C3PO cared but to this day I’m not convinced R2 felt the same way – after all every word R2 said back to him was obviously an expletive that had to be ‘beeped’ out. Normally father / son reunions go much better than Luke and Vader’s, not having seen the first film I had perhaps missed something but at this point, Luke seemed to have form as a cry-baby when things weren’t going his way. Han Solo and Princess Leia were wonderful – it was a love story where she hated him but not really – yet it was Boba Fett and the other bounty hunters who stole the show. I wasn’t sure why but they were the enchanting characters.
The sets, the ships, the lore, the costumes, the sounds … and most importantly, the narrative.
From this day onwards, I knew I wanted to be a writer.