1980 in the 1990s

Once when I was about 6 I was at a friend’s birthday party and everyone was outside playing football but I was watching a Star Wars movie for the first time on the television indoors. It was a VHS of The Empire Strikes Back. My friend’s dad said was I sure I didn’t want to go outside with the others and play football?

I am on a planet made of snow and sky and flying a hovership tying cables round the legs of gigantic four legged robot elephants and watching them fall and explode after a man hanging upside down had used his mind to make a laser bladed sword fly through the air into his hand so that he could cut a yeti in half. In the near future I will buy plastic pod racers and jar jar heads and greedo clasps and ring binders and little ships and little yodas and I will try hard to convince two or more school friends that my dad is DARTH VADER BUT THE ACTUAL DARTH VADER and the teachers will try to ban us going CHEW CHEW and using plastic straw laser rifles in the playground though that is a difficult ban to impose and I will tie a skipping rope round my waist so I can be yoda in yoda’s robe and I will tie it tight so that at the end of playtime I have to get a teacher to untie it for me and wonder about the degree of consciousness of this child’s belief that it would be better to be a green pointed ear thing living in a swamp by itself and the teachers will come over to us and ask what we are doing when we are jumping on the wall and leaping and being tusken raiders as mimicking tusken raider sounds is challenging and inadvisable and I will in throes of a throttling anxiety about death and forever become sick when I see the edges of the level of the x-wing computer game where it fades into an unencroachable black where there is no created space, thus no time, literally, nothing.

You tell me.

This original essay is part of a series of original critical essays on the ‘Star Wars’ series of original films. Please see the original essay in this original series (‘1977’) here.

John Banning lives in London Town. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Maudlin HouseRejection LettersDream JournalLigeia and the Bear Creek Gazette. You can find links to read these grand works on his website.

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