There are some enthusiasms one never loses even though sense tells you otherwise: searching for the longest sell-by date; newly-minted coins and 'Star Wars'. Once I might have imagined myself Han Solo. Now I’m more like Ben Kenobi – yes, with a dodgy accent. ‘You don’t need to see my Freedom Pass,’ I might say. Also: ‘these are not the haemorrhoids you’re looking for’. Naturally, 27 December 1977 is a date etched in my subconscious – the date I first saw 'A New Hope'. Actually, I wish it was my birthday. I forever want to shave off a few years, or at least the rough blades of my moustache.
Chapter IV in the 'Star Wars' series wasn’t anything but back in my day. It was a film that we had to dream about long before we saw it – at least in the United Kingdom; before the dark times; before the day and date release of 'The Empire Strikes Back'.
Now we can go back to a good old-fashioned really long (12 month) wait with the first proper trailer for ‘The Force Awakens’, J J Abrams’ first intervention into the Star Wars universe. Suspicions that it might be all lens flares and ropey Scottish accents were immediately allayed by a shot of a desert, then John Boyega popping into shot in a Stormtrooper outfit. In fact, although we know the series brings back the old faces – Skywalker, Organa, Solo and Chewbacca (sorry – I don’t know his surname) – all we saw were the new ones. We see a roly-poly R2 unit, a bunch of Stormtroopers, someone (Adam Driver?) using a machine, ‘X’ wing thingies. It looks all very present and correct and then – money shot – the Millennium Falcon looping over the Tattooine desert. That’s one way to lose the change out of your pocket. Did I say it was taking on Tie Fighters?
So – well and truly excited one became. But, gentle reader, a note of caution! Apart from the portentous voiceover, we didn’t hear ‘em speak. In space, there is no acceptable substitute for modern slang, though I can’t imagine anyone on the desert planet taking a selfie.
So what does it all mean? When I first heard they were bringing back the characters from the Star Wars films that we know and love, I thought they would be the main focus. After all (I would say to ex-Ghostbuster Bill Murray), we do want to see a bunch of old people running about. (‘Good against remote’ – I still don’t know what that means.) But I think it is going to be about recruits in the Republic who encounter the Dark Side and go to Skywalker et al for help, where I imagine they are in a Home for Retired Jedi Knights playing ‘Lord Sidious’ bingo - it beats that Ray Harryhausen chess game from 'A New Hope'. It is also a bit ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’, with the red light saber that looks like a luminous broad sword.
So Abrams hasn’t messed with our childhood. He has given us something to look forward to. And the trailer isn't as disappointing as 'Jurassic World'.