A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....
Star Wars was my introduction to Science Fiction, and has been a significant presence in my life ever since I watched it as child of 8 with my brothers and a gang of kids from the neighbourhood. In Iceland there was a 12 year age limit on the film, but our flight-engineer neighbour chaperoned us kids and pushed the protesting cinema ushers out of the way.
I was mesmerized from the very first minute - the 20th Century Fox logo animation, then the scrolling text with the amazing John Williams score, and an enormous Star Destroyer rumbling into view amongst a lazer fire-fight. The film had eveything an 8 year old would wish to see in the cinema. It was the essence of cinema magic - and had all the essential ingredients superbly mixed to create a sum of parts whose legacy is still pervasive nearly 40 years on.
We siblings had plenty of the Star Wars toys - most of the Kenner 3 3/4" figures, the Death Star, Millennium Falcon, X-Wing Fighter, Tie Fighter and Landspeeder. Today, in particular my nephews continue to be hugely influenced by Star Wars - which has a lot to do with Lego’s excellent more recent models and video games.
The range of Star Wars products available now is quite staggering - the landscape is slightly different to what it was, and there aren’t so many lunch-boxes and backpacks around as there were in the early 80’s. However, Star Wars T-Shirts, Toys and Collectibles are to be found everywhere.
It’s a day after Free Comic Book Store day, but I would send you back to Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue - which has the largest and broadest collection of Star Wars artefacts - from books and comics to toys, videos and collectibles - in hundreds of varieties. I am a little surprised how few toy producers have coordinated their releases with today’s date - lots of the big Star Wars releases are scheduled for later this month or even later in the year - although there is of course plenty still readily available.
I own the large Lego Death Star and R2-D2, but will most probably not be buying the enormous new Lego Sandcrawler (pictured above) - which has just been released and retails at £250. I do possess the amazing Jaina Solo Kotobukiya figurine, and am waiting for the Mara Jade version to arrive on these shores (also pictured above right).
All of us are of course eagerly awaiting Star Wars episode VII - which JJ Abrams has just kicked off filming at Pinewood Studios - hopefully he can recapture the magic of the first two films, and filter out the excess of cheese which somewhat blighted their successors.
Celebrate Star Wars Day ... and -
May the force be with you....