Being the geek I am, I was thrilled to learn the release date for a new series about Obi-Wan Kenobi… May 25.
This was swiftly followed by jaw-dropping astonishment and then depression on discovering why that date was chosen.
May 25 2022 marks the 45th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars film in the States. Yeah, you read that right – 45 years, four and a half decades, half a lifetime.
How? I mean, it was just yesterday I saw Star Wars for the first time.
It was in the Odeon on Clerk Street in Edinburgh on a wet Thursday afternoon, weeks after the film opened in British cinemas on Boxing Day 1977. I had resisted going to see it because I was a science fiction snob and thought this malarkey with space ships, robots and laser guns was just Flash Gordon updated.
Two hours later, my 17-year-old self emerged into a grim, rainy Edinburgh still undecided – over whether I wanted a lightsaber or my own X-Wing fighter.
Here we are now, 45 years and umpteen screen iterations of the galaxy far, far away of varying quality later. Did we need The Book of Boba Fett? No.
So, as lifetime milestones go, this is a bit “mind blown” for me. It also got me thinking about how things have changed in the past 45 years.
A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away…
So, where were we in 1977?
Well, I was studiously ignoring the bunting and flag-waving for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
Westminster was in chaos as Jim Callahan’s Labour government lurched from disaster to disaster, ushering in the Winter Of Discontent and, eventually, Margaret Thatcher.
On the world stage, there were mutterings in corners of academia about the greenhouse effect on global temperatures and a suggestion we might want to do something about that.
Oh, and there was the small matter of tensions between East and West, prompting folk to ponder where they could hide from the coming nuclear holocaust.
It was all just a tad grim.
Becoming a Jedi master
Zip along a few decades and here we are in 2022. I’m still not ordering any Jubilee cakes.
Now I am more Obi-Wan – seen it, done it, got the hoodie cloak, and a healthy dose of world-weariness
I have the popcorn out waiting to see if the next disaster in Downing Street can eventually end this monstrous regime – I’d even welcome Thatcher back and, trust me, that’s saying something.
Meanwhile, we are running through the alphabet soup of winter storms just to prove the point that the climate is broken. Oh, and at any minute now a there could be blitzkrieg in Ukraine to pitch East and West against each other.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh? At least 45 years ago we didn’t have the Covid bogeyman stalking us. Aye, they had it good in the seventies.
When I first saw Star Wars, I was very much Team Luke, all wide-eyed and looking forward to what was coming my way.
Now I am more Obi-Wan – seen it, done it, got the hoodie cloak, and a healthy dose of world-weariness, but still with hope we can fix things and end this ceaseless cycle of doom and gloom.
May the Force be with us.
Scott Begbie is entertainment editor for The Press & Journal and Evening Express