Easter morning, 1996. I was just a wee 10 year old boy at the time. Rubbing my eyes, I got up and went to the living room. There, on the coffee table, was the Star Wars THX Mastered Trilogy on VHS. It was glorious. At the time, I didn’t realize this would be the final release of the original trilogy, before George Lucas would go insane, putting little changes into future releases. I was stoked, my parents and I watched all 3 films that day, our favourite being Empire of course. I would literally carry them around the house with me all the time after that (I was a strange boy). They blew my mind. That same year, the N64 was released, and Shadows of the Empire came out for it (1996 was awesome). Needless to say I was hooked. I had to have all the new toys. I became a fanatic.
As the years would go on, my love for Star Wars would continue. In my teens, the prequel trilogy was coming out, slowly but surely. Getting to see Yoda kick ass for the first time was awesome. 9 years after I had started watching the Star Wars saga, it was all coming to an end with Revenge of the Sith. It was exciting and sad. I didn’t want the movies to end. It was great getting to see Revenge with my dad, him being the one that had introduced me to the franchise in the first place. It’s funny thinking about how hard it was for me to wait for each prequel movie to come out, considering my dad watched the originals when he was a kid. It definitely puts things in perspective. I just feel silly now.
We did get some great games from the Star Wars franchise over the years. The SNES trilogy was awesome, it was hard as hell, but it was awesome. Jedi Power Battles on PS1 was a great beat em up, and Rogue Squadron on the N64 took up loads of my time. My favourite though was Shadows of the Empire on N64. For its time, the graphics were amazing. The first level opens up on Hoth. You’re flying a snowspeeder, taking out AT-ATs by flying around them with your cable to trip them. It was literally straight from Empire Strikes Back. For me at the time, it was unreal actually being part of that moment. Now we’ve got games like Star Wars Battlefront, which have taken that type of moment to the next level. If you’ve got Playstation VR, you can literally be inside the cockpit of an X-Wing, engaging in dogfights with the enemy. That’s only 21 years from the N64. Can you imagine what kind of videogames we’ll be playing in the next 21 years? We’ll probably be flying actual X-Wings by that point. I’ll only be 50, I better not be dead before that happens.
With the release of the new films from Disney, it’s exciting being able to share that feeling I had when I first watched it with my kids. My daughters first Star Wars movie was Episode 7. My wife and I took her and she seemed to like it, but her reaction wasn’t quite the same as the one I had when I first watched a Star Wars movie. The second time, we went to see Rogue One with my dad and brother, and she loved it. I even had to get up and do a popcorn run because she didn’t want to miss any of the movie (how selfish). She was ecstatic after it finished, and now I can only assume we will be going to see the 8th one together this Christmas. I still have to get her to watch the originals, but that’s proving difficult, when all she wants to do is message her friends on her Ipad or watch The Thundermans on YTV. It’ll be hard, but dammit, I’m up to the task.
It’s neat looking back at what Star Wars was, and what it’s become. It will always be part of my life. I’m excited to see what Disney does next with the franchise, it seems to be in capable hands with them. I can only imagine Star Wars will continue to go on for years and years to come. My kids will show their kids all the originals and take them to see the new ones that are coming out. It’s either that or they’ll introduce them to The Thundermans, let’s hope it’s the first one I said.
What was your first Star Wars experience? Let me know in the comments below! – NVJ