Rather sadly (to some), I’ve now seen Star Wars: the Force Awakens a grand total of six (6) times. I suppose one might argue I’m a little bit obsessed, but actually that’s quite wide of the mark. It’s more a case that the removal of all barriers leading to my creative energy and my raw imagination have all run amok!
Put more simply, it’s not just the continuation of the story from my childhood I find fascinating, it’s the whole creative process behind creating it – the attention to detail, the gay abandon, the wildly fascinating characters, the humour, the drama, the new worlds beyond worlds (metaphor?) – to be stimulating to the point of salivatory excitement. Well, not THAT stimulating, but it gets my creative juices flowing every time I watch it.
And of course, having grown up with the films, role-played the movies with my pals, and even once written the entire script of Star Wars: A New Hope from memory while in primary school, you can begin to see the effect it’s had on me since I was a wee person.
For me, it paralleled the cult computer game of the 1980s called ELITE, where one had to choose between conforming to the galactic rules or living a life in the shady underworld of space. I preferred to roam the galaxy visiting planets to trade with in order to scramble a living, while also trying to steer clear of trouble from other pirates, bandits and mercenaries. Cue Han Solo… you see where this is going, right?
Now, as a 42 year old man, it’s my passion for writing that the continuation of Star Wars has shone a heat lamp on, by re-lighting the desire to create and evolve my own worlds in the same spirit and creative energies that Star Wars came to life through.
It’s been a hell of a few weeks where death is concerned; an outstanding start to 2016. Quite clearly, Mr G. Reaper has had his holidays and has got back to work with vigour and energy, killing off a whole host of famous and not famous names, some of whom meant more to me than others.
First up early in December, literary legend and old friend, William McIlvanney passed away aged 79. It came as a great shock to me given our history and I will miss his influence immensely. I kind of assumed he would live forever – he will through his work, that’s for sure – but it’s the direct influence he had on me when we spoke and finally met that will stay with me forever.
Then came a boyhood hero of mine, The Specials drummer John ‘Brad’ Bradbury, who just last week suddenly and out of the blue aged only 62. He was the man who gave The Specials their distinct sound, with his unique playing style in songs that meant to so much to me growing up. I’m privileged to have seen him play a number of times.
Brad’s funeral was overshadowed yesterday by the sudden death of David Bowie from cancer at 69. The world rocked to the news he had kept his terminal illness hidden, and while I wasn’t a fan of his work, I appreciated what he did and why he meant so much to others.
And finally, just last week while browsing through Facebook, I came across the news that an old friend of mine had also died suddenly. Duncan Robertson was an old pal of mine in the 90s who I enjoyed many nights out in Glasgow with. I’m remembering O’Henry’s, Rock Garden, and Fury Murry’s, and I’m also remembering when he opened the massively successful Candy Bar in Glasgow and then later in Edinburgh, as well as some of his many other business ventures. I last saw him in Charing Cross in Glasgow a couple of years ago while I was working there, and it’ll be his cheery smile that he met me with, that I’ll remember most.