Star Wars Day 2020

May the Fourth be With You!

I realise that Disney / Lucasfilm is a gigantic corporate entity that has already sucked millions of dollars out of the global population for the Star Wars franchise alone, and that they do not need my help or anyone else’s help in perpetuating the presence of this cultural behemoth in the zeitgeist, but…

It really is a nice, fun thing in a World that is locked down and in fear of a virus that has re-written our understanding of epidemiology and our assessment of our own mortality. COVID-19 has changed the World, in a few short months and not in any way wanting to brush aside the seriousness of the situation, or the unmitigated tragedy of the deaths of which a good number may well have been prevented, Star Wars Day has been a pleasant distraction, and so I embrace it.

I posted on Facebook that I chose the young Captain Ackbar from the Clone Wars era (who would later go on to be the Flag Admiral of the Rebel Fleet at The Battle of Endor) to be my character totem for the day. The rich diversity of characters and the epic sweep of time that go together to make up the Skywalker Saga within the wider Star Wars Universe is a joy to contemplate, from the scum and villainy of the Bounty Hunters and Interstellar Pirates to the Clone Armies of the Republic and the Droid Armies of the Separatists to the Empire, the Rebellion, the First Order to the Resistance and the Dark Shadowy Sith, the canvas is vast.

Who would you be if you could insert yourself into the Universe for a day? What would you want to experience?

Would you visit the Night Sisters of Dathomire and witness the secret rites with which they held sway over their World? Would you quest for the Zilla Beast on Malister Prime? My choice for this year is in no small part chosen because of my fascination with underwater worlds, and Captain Ackbar is a resident of the watery Mon Calamari. During the Clone Wars (I forget exactly which season of the show) he fought side by side with the newly crowned King of the Mon Cala against the Separatists under the waves of his planet’s oceans.

These little imaginings go a long way to freeing me, and indeed us all, from the tyranny of reality, even if only for a moment or a few minutes of a daydream, but that is the joy of imagination.

So, Happy Star Wars Day – The Fourth will be with you, always…


Thoughts on the concert I attended on Good Friday…

I went to a concert on Good Friday, at the O2, and on the way back I wrote down my thoughts in a notebook, and I have only now “got around” to writing it up:

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There is something amazing about the power that exists in music. I was four years old when I first saw “Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope”, and now, almost thirty years later, the mere music from that and the subsequent films can bring up such emotion and whimsy in me as to leave me dazed.

The majestic sweeping strings, the powerful declarative brass, the drums, imposing and bold… This is the stuff that adventure, honour and boyhood dreams are all made of.

As I sat in my knee-injury incompatible seat I was even able to forgive Anthony Daniels who was hamming it up for the serious fanbois and fangirlz. In his defence, there was one particularly nice touch with a golden waistcoat in the second half that __was__ funny. Yep I just sat there and lost myself in the memories.

All of us that forgive (or try to forgive) Lucas for his failures (I mean he seems to define the term ‘bad dialogue’ pretty well), and embrace the simple joy of an epic tale well told can relate to the truth that this evening’s entertainment has once again affirmed; George Lucas owes John Williams and the London Philharmonic. Bigtime.