Easter morning, 1996. I was just a wee ten-year-old boy at the time. Rubbing my eyes, I got up out of bed and went to the living room. There, on the coffee table, was the Star Wars THX Mastered Trilogy on VHS (you done good Easter Bunny, you done good). 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 three films that day. Our favourite being Empire. I would literally carry them around the house with me all the time after that (I was a strange boy). That same year, the N64 was released, and Shadows of the Empire as well (1996 was awesome). Needless to say, I was hooked. I had to have all the new toys. Everything. I became a fanatic.
As the years would go on, my love for Star Wars would continue to grow. In my teens, the prequel trilogy was released, slowly but surely. Watching Yoda kick ass for the first time was awesome. Nine years after I had begun 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. They took years in between to release. Now that Disney owns Star Wars, we’re seeing a movie every year. It definitely puts things in perspective.
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 a 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 is of course when you’re not spending a ridiculous amount of money on loot boxes. Can you imagine what kind of video games 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, 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 right?). She was ecstatic after it finished. The Last Jedi blew her (and my) mind. May 25th we get the Han Solo movie. We still have some catching up to do with the originals six films. My daughter loses interest fairly quickly. She’d rather watch The Thundermans instead.
It’s neat looking back at what Star Wars was, and what it has become. It’s something that will always be a part of my life. I’m really looking forward to the future and seeing what Disney can do 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 get me hooked on The Thundermans, let’s hope it’s the former.
What was your first Star Wars experience? Let me know in the comments below! – NVJ