What's On? 15/12/16
I was once a hard core fan of Star Wars. Born in the seventies, I remember Return of the Jedi (1983) was wonderful, was in fact the centre of my universe. I remember the hype on early morning news, the playground re-enactments, the Panini sticker book that my brother managed to complete with his friend. When you're eight years old, that whole trilogy takes you on a journey you never completely come back from. The music becomes the soundtrack of your dreams for the American-tinged adulthood that is shining hazily in the distance: you want to find the kind of romantic love that Han found with Leia, in a city in the clouds. If you'd asked the eight-year-old me how I wanted to die, I would have told you: frozen in a casket of carbonite, in a chamber of steam and darkly lit menace.
You may have guessed why I'm writing this. There's a new Star Wars film, called Rogue One. The premise is intriguing, the cast promising. I'm sure I won't be affected like I was as a child; I didn't think last year's The Force Awakens was that good, an enjoyable three-star film but hardly a film to stand on its own as great story-telling. Everyone pretended to love it because of the relief that it wasn't as shit as the prequels. And with George Lucas not in charge any more, there's always a chance it won't be shit this time either. A bitter, blasphemous thing to say, I guess.
Nostalgia's a funny thing: George Lucas was once a God to me; now read my comments and see the change. I get nostalgic quite easily. I miss last year, my MSc year, with the student accommodation in the city centre and the friends it gave me. The warmth it gave me. The TV. The MSc course was good fun, your exposure to the artistic writings of your talented classmates an almost daily act of intensity. Now things are more isolating, the single, cold apartment, the long walk to university and back, the comparative loneliness of doing PhD. Things are different this year, the travails of the past four months have worked their black magic on me, cumulatively. But as with my love of George Lucas, it was a year that benefits from a certain kind of perspective, a child-like perspective.
If you'd asked me several months ago about Edinburgh, I'd have told you: I want to settle here. But now? I've failed so many job interviews and applications. It's not quite the cultural Garden of Eden it used to be, not when money's tight. I'm preparing a funding application for years two and three. If I get funded elsewhere, I would leave. It's funny how things can change.
This review about Star Wars is also about seeing the me of a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Like Star Wars and George Lucas, it should be there for gentle nostalgic glances only; when you go back too often, like Lucas with those Special Editions in the late nineties, you end up ruining them. I should take the Lucas example and know that while moving on with your life from a good moment is difficult, it's really the only thing you can do.