Excitement about the new Star Wars movie has been escalating in the Scifi household. Scifi hubby has already been making plans to see the movie. Working out “what to do with the boy” so we can go to see it undisturbed. Tickets are already booked for Star Wars Celebration 2016 and plans are afoot to buy a Storm Trooper costume. So you can imagine the tornado of Star Wars madness that came with the announcement of ‘Force Friday’ a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it’s been a roller coaster few weeks that’s ended in disappointment.
It started as a low key Facebook Messenger post with a link to a ToysRUs press release. Then followed a rush to try and find out which stores would be open, making me phone round various stores to find out and huge fan boy excitement when I thought we might be able to go to one. Sadly I was wrong. We didn’t quite get tears but it was close. To be fair it’s not my fault that only five ToysRUs stores across the whole country were open at midnight but for a while I wasn’t sure if I would ever be forgiven for making him wait 9 hours more to get his toys.
Then the leaks started. First it was a list of all the toys that were coming. Excitement levels rocketed as both a huge version of the Millennium Falcon and black series 3.75inch figures (with “proper articulation”) were included. Then photos started to come out of the basic figures. Ranting ensued as it became clear that the quality is worse than the figures released with the movies in the 1970s. “Their helmets don’t come off, their knees don’t bend, who wants them? Hasbro can shove them in places only doctors can find them again…” The fact that they are kids toys seems to pass everyone by at this point. We then had a long period of ‘will they, won’t they’ release the black series. Finally it became clear that they weren’t coming out for Force Friday and that the only Falcon coming was based on the original moulds. “It’s a 30 year old mould that’s just been spruced up. It’s like trying to polish a turd” was the rant around the house.
This is the point I should probably mentioned that none of these toys are apparently for Scifi hubby. It seems that our 20 month old son is so desperately in love with Star Wars that he needed ALL the new toys – but only if they were ‘right’. I don’t think he even recognizes Yoda yet.
In the end Force Friday passed with a ten minute trip to ToysRUs and no money spent.
As I’m sure the whole world knows by know George Lucas has just sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4billion (official press release here). Scifi hubby spotted it on Facebook earlier and laughed thinking it was a joke. Then more people posted it so he checked if it was 1st April and he hadn’t realised. Then the news started to break across the web and Twitter went crazy. Finally the official press release was released and then film of Lucas himself talking about it. THEN came the announcement that Disney are going to release ‘Star Wars 7’ in 2015.
Meanwhile I was on FaceTime to my Dad discussing a family christening, plans for Christmas, how he’s lost loads of weight (well done Dad!), the dogs he’s been taking photos of and other mundane family stuff. Scifi hubby starts to spin slowly in the corner with the laptop. I ignore him for a while but eventually he reaches a critical mass at which point I have to intervene or risk a black hole forming in the living room.
It reminds me a lot of when Episode One came out all those years ago. Back then we were newly engaged and I had to own up that I had never seen Star Wars. I know, I know – shock horror, but some of us read books instead whilst growing up. In fact my lack of movie knowledge and viewing could be a whole other post. Scifi hubby fixed that fairly swiftly and luckily I quite liked the movie. It will never be my moral compass but its entertaining enough.
In 1999 Scifi hubby was torn between being very excited and hoping for brilliant new films and really feeling they shouldn’t do it. The build up to Episode One was immense with new toys, midnight openings at toy shops to buy the first wave of figures before the film came out (yes we queued outside ToysrUs for four hours to meet Darth Vader and buy plastic toys), the teaser posters, images of Tatooine etc etc. And then the movie came out.
We happened to be on holiday at the time but managed to get tickets to a preview screening. It was the first time I’d ever been to a cinema with people in fancy dress and lightsabres who screamed and clapped all the way though. I’m still not sure what they were clapping at – screaming I can understand. Running from the cinema crying I could understand. But I never understood the clapping…
Scifi hubby was SO disappointed and swore he wouldn’t watch the second film. In fact we didn’t go to see Attack of the Clones for about two weeks after it came out. I’m being banned from telling you that story (maybe one day) but suffice to say he actually loved that one.
So it feels like we are all back on the Star Wars merry-go-round again. This time Disney get to make everyone excited, dash their hopes, destroy their dreams and then quietly surprise them into liking it after all (I hope).
Scifi hubby’s final quote of the day “I’m cautious but optimistic… I just don’t want to be hurt again”. Who said Star Wars wasn’t a love affair?