Dad, Andrew Lee, shares his first memories of the Force to celebrate Star Wars day
My first encounter with Star Wars was in a sweet shop. The shop on the way home from school sold Star Wars trading cards that came in little packs of five; I pestered my parents to stop the car to get me a pack or two from that sweet shop every day. Each one featured a different still from the very first movie. These cards were little windows that gave me my first glance into “a galaxy far far away”.
Make the jump to light speed and here we are 39 years later, celebrating the enduring genius of Star Wars on its (unofficial, but no less fun) national day. Whereas in 1977 I don’t think my parents made much of it, all the mums and dads who grew up with R2D2 and C3PO are as excited as ever at its mere mention. They are still at the front of the queue whenever a new film comes out, eager to recapture that glorious feeling we all got when we first saw the Imperial Cruiser slide over the cinema screen chasing Princess Leia for what seemed like forever. If, inexplicably, you have not yet seen this year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I won’t spoil it for you here, but you will laugh, gasp, and you won’t be disappointed.
Just as Obi Wan passed on the Jedi ways to Luke Skywalker, so we as parents can be lucky enough to see that feeling of utter amazement on the faces of our children, for most of whom, despite being armed with the toys and the cartoons and the comics, may not be old enough to watch Star Wars where it truly belongs – on the big screen in a packed cinema. Star Wars Day is an opportunity to dig out the LEGO Millennium Falcon (that they/I built over eight, painstaking hours) and stoke their passion. As children grow up, their tastes naturally, reasonably, diverge from those of their parents. Star Wars is one of those rare things that parents and children can share together, always.
Let’s just hope they have nailed the bad guys – everyone knows it is the Stormtroopers and Darth Vader that the kids want to be. Come over to the Dark Side!