We were five this festive period. My eldest has left her job in Bristol and is moving home at the end of next month. Temporarily. This has been a reminder for her of what’s in store. My younger two are both still at university but deemed us worthy of a Christmas visit.
All three are itching to leave again, of course, now that the comforts of home no longer outweigh the perceived constraints. I understand. I left home at 18 and rarely went back. One night at home was enough to have me checking train timetables and calling friends and contacts across the country who might have a spare sofa.
Isla, once of Bristol, and Sean, my only son, have wanted to see the new Star Wars film. For a variety of reasons — from assorted prior engagements to booked showings — we haven’t seen it yet. Tonight is the night, though. The film has been on long enough now at the local cinema that, at the time of writing this, only five seats have been booked. And three of those will be seeing various Stewart behinds nestling into their cushions. Laura and our other daughter — Kirstie — will be at the cinema at the same time but they’re going to the new Eddie Redmayne film: The Danish Girl. Given the choice, I would prefer to see that.
I was too old for the full flush of teenage excitement when the original Star Wars films arrived and I couldn’t bring myself to watch much more than the first half of the first of the newer films of the late 90s and into the 00s. Even the fact that these were prequels annoyed me. Three prequels, for god’s sake.
My son had computer games and books based on those latter films, of course. And for all the fact that I was more of a Star Trek fan than a Star Wars fan I felt a vague unease at the way the new films and their superior CGI and effects seemed to mask a distinct decline in story-telling. From what I could tell, some of the magic was lost: it no longer had the feel of a fable.
So I was left unexcited by the thought of a new film. At least it’s not a prequel, although it’s set long enough after the third/sixth film that I’m sure they could slot in a few prequels to the sequel (sprequels) should commercial decisions render that a winner.
This will be the final family outing of the holidays — albeit in two different screens in the once cinema — so I shall sit back and think of Tatooine. (The very first holiday Laura and I took together was to Tunisia, where we visited the village and caves where some of the original film was shot. Things come around, huh?)
I may let you know what I thought of the film but how many reviews can one person read with any level of interest? And, if you are interested, the chances are that you will have already seen the film. Or even twice, like my friend Iain.
UPDATE: Just back from the cinema. My first thought as the final credits rolled was “that was underwhelming” but now I’ve given it some time, I’m happy to awards it a big “pants”. I can’t even be bothered to justify my opinion. Suffice to say, Harrison Ford probably thinks he is well out of it now.