May The Soon Be With You

James Proclaims (4)

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Without a shadow of a doubt, life on lockdown has hit other people harder than me. I am, under the circumstances, relatively lucky. I have a job that still needs me to work (I mean the work bit is mildly irritating but in the current climate, gainful employment seems to be a definite asset), I have a small but perfectly adequate garden available to me, I live close enough to supermarkets to not worry too much about accessing supplies yet I also live close enough to a river to make my daily allocation of exercise quite tolerable (apart from the actual exercise, which has always been far more functional than fun for me).

Also I live with a very energetic toddler, so boredom has yet to really be an issue.

By far the biggest asset for me in surviving lockdown though, is that I am something of a misanthrope. Maybe not a fully-fledged misanthrope but certainly someone with misanthropic tendencies. I don’t wish any ill to befall my fellow citizens, but I’m perfectly happy to avoid them. Social gatherings have always been things to tolerate rather than enjoy and though there are a small number of people on the planet whose company I do enjoy, I am perfectly content, for the most part, with my own company. Certainly, my own company alongside the company of my wife and daughter are more than sufficient for me at the moment.

Which is not to say I don’t find the whole pandemic thing deeply distressing.  I would much prefer there not to be a life-threatening virus at large and the obvious misery, hardship and fear being experienced by people worldwide is profoundly upsetting.

And at times of difficulty, I do what any sensible person would do, and I look for comfort wherever I can find it. I have spent much of April writing about music and listening to music is something that I find can bring me a lot of solace. But times are extraordinarily bleak at the moment so I’m having to resort to the ‘big guns’.

And when I am at a point where everything has become too much for me, there really is only one recourse I can take.

And that is to watch Star Wars.

A lot.

I love Star Wars. I have always loved Star Wars. I think I probably will always love Star Wars.

But I am not, necessarily what you would call a ‘Star Wars geek’. I don’t know all there is to know about Star Wars. I haven’t, for example, read any of the associated novels or comic books. I haven’t played, nor do I intend to play, any of the associated video games.

I just really like the films. As do literally millions of other people on the planet.

They’re really popular.

Maybe I do love Star Wars more than some of those other millions of people and maybe I do know more about the movies than a lot of people. I’m not an expert, I wouldn’t purport to be an expert but when people have conversations about “who shot first?” I know exactly what they are talking about and I know that the correct answer is “Han”. But I still think that probably puts me in quite a large group of people.

‘Geek’ as a general term might be a fair description of me. I wouldn’t eschew it. I just wouldn’t want to claim that I love Star Wars more than anyone else. Because there are loads of people who love Star Wars as much as me, if not significantly more than me.

But it’s still true to say I love Star Wars.

I couldn’t tell you why I love Star Wars. I just always have. My mum tells me that, when I was a very small and difficult to please child (as opposed to the large and difficult to please adult I’ve become) she could stick me in front of Star Wars and I literally wouldn’t move for the duration of the movie. Alas, back in those days my mother was fairly reliant on Star Wars actually being shown on the telly, which tended to happen around Christmas time. For ages I thought of Star Wars as being intrinsically a Christmas thing, but these days I’m too busy watching other movies (as the very small number of people who keep reading my blog in December when I write about nothing else will be able to attest) so Star Wars has to fit in at other times of the year. And to be honest I’ve seen some of the movies so many times I have taken to restricting how often I allow myself to watch them.

But currently all bets are off, and with the recent arrival of Disney Plus in the UK (and what a timely launch that has turned out to be) I now have most of the movies and a lot of other Star Wars related stuff available without even having to go to the trouble of inserting a DVD into the player.

As a consequence, I might have, in recent days, resorted to watching a lot of the movies and associated TV shows.

When I haven’t been working or looking after my daughter obviously.

And with the month of May being around the corner, what better time is there to devote a lot of my blog to writing about Star Wars? What with people often referring to the fourth day of May as ‘Star Wars Day’. Because, very cleverly, you can say “May the Fourth be with you” on that day…

As the central set of movies (‘The Skywalker Saga’ if you will) was notionally completed last year, this year seems a particularly good time to be writing about Star Wars anyway, but with the current state of the world, and me needing to go to my happy place a lot more than normal, it’s probably all I can write about.

So once my A-Z of music is completed on Thursday, I will be mostly writing about Star Wars until I’ve exhausted every possible avenue for writing about Star Wars.

In honour of Star Wars Day, I’m going to title each of my posts in a similar fashion, starting with ‘May The First Be With You’ on Friday and so on. Which is exactly the kind of thing I would do.

I imagine I’ll run out of Star Wars stuff to write about soon enough and be back to writing about the mundanities of life, which is the content that has resulted in literally tens of people all over the world following my blog.

But until then, it’s all going to be about stuff that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…