You will find only what you bring in – Intermission – Xmas 2019

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‘As the usher brings forth the Ice cream and snacks, we wait for the main feature to resume’

You will find only what you bring in

At 1 minute past midnight on the 19th December 2019 I sat in our local Cinema and watched the Lucasfilm logo as it appeared on the screen. After 42 years I finally watched the final instalment of what is now known as the Skywalker Saga. This journey had started for me at the age of 9 one sunny afternoon with my Dad.

It was an emotional experience for me on many levels, this story that had been unfolding throughout my childhood and adult life, finally had a conclusion. This year we sadly lost my Dad who had taken me to the first of these films so I was unable to share the experience with him. My relationship with my Dad over the final few years of his life was complicated but no matter what I will always have that sunny day he took me to see a film that has influenced me and made me find things that I love.

The Star Wars films are at their base level modern fairy tales, that is what George Lucas wanted them to be. These stories are steeped with history inspired by the likes of everything from Hans Christian Anderson to the Flash Gordon Serials. In the early 1970’s Science Fiction film making was more of the Hard dystopian type, grim futures represented the times. What Lucas bought back to the genre was the sense of childlike wonder in the visual art of storytelling.

To many people of my age the stories of Star Wars have been a constant companion throughout our lives. They are a constant in my life that I have watched, read and created art of. I even introduced my Wife to them who has come to love them as I do. What people forget is that immediately post Return of the Jedi (1983) we thought we would never get anymore more stories filmed in this universe. In 1999 George Lucas decided to return to his creation. No matter your opinion on the prequels (I like them) he got to tell the stories he wanted and in the process managed to make huge advances in the technical aspects of film making. The operatic nature of the narrative in the prequels showed that we had just dipped our toes in all the possible story lines within that universe.

There would have been many children who are now grown and have children of their own watching the prequels with the same wide eyed wonder I had when I watched the original trilogy. To those children that was and will always be ‘their’ Star Wars.

Once Disney purchased Lucasfilm we then got the beginnings of a new trilogy. 2016’s The Force Awakens was a way to re-equate ourselves with the Universe. 2018’s The Last Jedi managed to repeat history, like the middle of the original trilogy The Empire Strikes Back it was divisive (a fact people seem to forget). In a final film we now have The Rise of Skywalker, it is difficult to finish and give all those characters the goodbye they all deserve. In my opinion J.J. Abrams managed it and it has given me a satisfactory end to what I see as my story. This trilogy has also like the original and prequels given children the wide eyed wonder of this universe so they can claim this is ‘their’ Star Wars. They will go back and explore what has gone before and and like all Art it will inspire.

There will be other stories told within this Star Wars universe, but there will be only one set of films that both started a story and influenced culture and film making in such a singular way. As much as it was originally the vision of one man it has now come to mean so much to so many.

A few short years ago George Lucas’s original concept of 3 trilogies and 9 films looked impossible. Now we have the final instalment, would I change anything? Probably not other than I would have loved my Dad to share this final film with me.

The lights dim, we now resume the main feature’

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