We all have that friend who shakes their head at us when we tell them we haven’t watched that TV show/seen that movie/read that book/played that game that they’re so enamoured by. We’ve all felt inadequate and out of the loop when receiving this reaction, so much so that we rush out to buy the raved-about boxset or whatever it is to appease our friends and sate our souls.
Exhibit A: the droves of people inhaling ‘Breaking Bad’ via Netflix after the slow-burn cult fave suddenly exploded into ‘Homeland’-style watercooler TV during its final season. Walter deserves the following, sure, but when did friendly critical recommendation turn into guilt-trip binge watching in an effort to bridge the cred-diminishing gap?
The thing is, in this media-blitz age, we can’t all have watched/played/read every well-received entertainment property – unless you don’t have a job (even then), it’s just not realistic. Sure, you can spend your weekends devouring ‘Mad Men’ boxsets but for every Don Draper, you’ll have to sacrifice a Tony Soprano or an 8-hour ‘Skyrim’ blitz.
So, as McGeek, what is my dark and dirty secret? There’s plenty on my Sky planner and Netflix ‘to watch’ list, plus a small fortune of CDs, books and games on my Amazon wishlist (even prior purchases on my shelves that I’m yet to touch). As a self-professed geek, I should probably feel slightly ashamed – heck, you may even spurn this blog upon discovering – that one small little space saga sits at the top of my unwatched list.
Yup, that’s right: I’ve never seen ‘Star Wars’.
Holy shit beans. Put down your lightsabers though, guys; my geek ignorance may astound you, but it’s just something I haven’t gotten round to. I haven’t wilfully spurned the series, instead simply going through life without returning to the Jedi after a primary school showing of ‘A New Hope’ had me glued to my seat but not necessarily crying out for more.
Of course, as a wisened geek, the original saga is definitely something I intend to catch at some point, especially now the franchise is getting the JJ/Disney treatment in the next few years. One weekend awaits in my future where I’ll sit down with a family-sized box of Maltesers and gorge on both that and George’s galaxy.
Of the new trilogy, through some mishap I ended up seeing ‘Attack of the Clones’ at the cinema but I admit to having no idea what was going on during its flurry of a final hour. Maybe I wasn’t invested enough, maybe my ignorance of the originals rendered a prequel redundant, maybe it was just a bit shit (surely, some ‘Star Wars’ fanatics agree here?); whatever the case, I’m sure a sit-down with the most recent entries will occur at some point too but maybe without quite as much as guilt on my side that it’s my first time.
The thing with ‘Star Wars’ is that it’s one of those few cultural entities that is so all-pervading that perhaps part of the reason I haven’t seen it in full is because I feel I don’t necessarily need to. Storm troopers, ewoks, the Death Star, the true identity of Luke Skywalker’s father… I feel like I’ve been there and back already, such is the frequency that the universe’s iconography is referenced in all manner of TV, film, games and music.
With the new phase of ‘Star Wars’ looking like a mighty Marvel makeover – a new film every year, character standalones, etc. – it’s an apt time for any newcomer like me to make nice and get acquainted. The casting rumours are flying thick and fast, with relative unknowns like ‘Girls’’ Adam Driver to the original Hamill/Ford/Fisher cast, being bandied about.
However, before I get all excited and offer opinions about what the new movies should or shouldn’t be, I should really visit a galaxy far, far away. Anyone got a boxset they wanna loan me??