The date is very significant. It is a view written before
the general release of The Force
Awakens. And it begins with a prediction: a predication about the reviews that
will come following the release if the film. No spoilers here.

Whilst there will be some that say this is the best Star Wars
yet, that the mythology has been fully restored, and JJ is destined for
sainthood, there will be others wishing him to fall on his sword-and if he
cannot provide his own they’ll willing help out, at least metaphorically.

But I suspect the majority will say it’s not as good as the
originals, but at least a whole lot better than the prequels. I have some further
comments to make on those demonized films later–but this prediction may seem
blindingly obvious. Yes it is, but a more interesting question is why?

I think the mythos surrounding Star wars is about recovering
childhood dreams. Or not.

Were the originals made for children (as has been suggested
about the first of the prequels)? Well, I remember a quote taken from George
Lucas (and I paraphrase) “I never expected to end up making films for children”
So possibly. But the originals and the prequels too were a reflection back to
the experience of Saturday Matinee cinema established for kids where we find
Flash Gordon looming in shades of grey. An interesting aside relating to this comes
from the blog of SF author, Peter F. Hamilton. He took his young son to the 3D
version of the Phantom Menace. The son liked it, and when asked for a highlight
the boy mentioned the funny guy, you know Binks. So what I am suggesting is
that your view point will reflect the age you first experience the films. I was
just out of school and experiencing my first attempt at living away from home
when I saw the original film, so still a big kid at heart. It is clear nobody
and nothing is going to be able to recapture that moment. So the prequels were
destined to fail for the generation that grew up with the originals.

Now to a confession. I actually quite enjoyed them, and I
might say though the first trilogy’s Empire Strikes Back is something of a high
watermark (I saw it at the massive Leicester Square Odeon cinema in London –
and it blew me away). The Return of the Jedi, with Ewoks…. Hum.

So what was it that appealed to me about the prequels? Well
I actually thought that Ewan McGregor cut a dashing young Alec Guinness and
then there was the art. Now my favourite game when I was younger was Myst and
particularly its sequel, Riven. I thought those games should have been
reclassified as a work of art. I love the realism that 3D computer art brought
in to my dream worlds making them concrete. I remember Andy Serkis and Gollum
here, not Jar Jar.

Visually, the original Star Wars used 2001 special effects
to tell a story which my Dad (a westerns buff) reported back was “Cowboys in
Space”. The space fantasies I had
dreamed about as a child were there on the big screen and looked real. Though
to the discerning eye they were limited by the technology of the day. By the
time the prequels came along 3D computer art was reaching new heights and we
saw this on the screen. So my appreciation here comes perhaps more for the
artwork and less for the story telling. Nonetheless I really enjoyed “Attack of
the Clones”.

As a post-script to these comments I just watched a
rescreening of the original Star Wars on TV (part of the media hype to the
Force Awakens). Maybe it was because it was on the small screen, maybe it’s
because I have become old and jaded, but the magic wasn’t there any longer for
me. Let’s see what this new film awakens