For those of us in the UK (particularly in EnglandShire – not sure about that funny lot north of the wall) this Monday coming is a Bank Holiday. Yep a loooong weekend for us, we'll an extra day. This year it also happens to fall on the same day as a popular geek celebration day May the Fourth Day, where geeks around this little globe of ours celebrate all things Star Wars.
I love that this most excellent of days coincides with a holiday this year. It allows me to pretend that here in the UK we have made May the Fourth Day a holiday (if only).
So what am I planning to do on Monday to celebrate this most auspicious of occasions?
Well for starters this blog will have a post dedicated to photos of these Lego minifigs I have that are Star Wars related. I do have one or two if you remember. These photos will also be pushed out via Instagram to Twitter and Facebook. Yep I'm going to spam social media.
I'm also going to use this post to invite any of my friends in the Wisbech area to pop round and play a Star Wars related game. I appreciate I may of upset one or two today with my political views and disappointment/annoyance that once more candidates have not canvassed my home (I'll leave the full rant for that Facebook discussion).
I have X-Wing (sadly rarely played), Imperial Assault and a Star Wars themed Risk. I'd love two or three friends round to play Imperial Assault, or at least one friend to play it in skirmish mode. I've not played the game and really want to.
Will this happen, will this invite be accepted?
We will find out on the day.
In the meantime I must make sure iTunes Match has logged my Star Wars OST cd's so that they can be playing in the background, and I may play catch up on Star Wars Rebels and rewatch the original trilogy. Well those two are the backup plan.
Over in the US of A there is a three day Star Wars celebration currently going on. Already we are getting to see the new teaser trailer for Episode 7, a trailer for the new Battlefront video game, and fan pictures of the ships and figures that make up the Fantasy Flight Games offerings that will be joining their official licenced boardgames later this year (hopefully) from their stand. Naturally at these sort of events there are panels, cosplay and more. And yes I wish I was there.
Above is my “fleet” for when I get to play X-Wing miniatures. Definitely not the largest “fleet” out there by a long shot. However considering the number of expansions they have released, the amount I get to play the game (hardly ever), and the number of other games in my collection that release regular expansions I think my “fleet” is very large. Naturally it could be bigger, for starters the Scum and Villiany ships could be there, but I'll add to the “fleet” when resources permit. One thing that anyone who sees these models up close does say is “wow, those models are amazing”. FFG do knock it out of the park with the X-Wing models.
All your farms belong to us!
It's funny to think what an impact and impression Star Wars and the franchise has had on western society. Who would of thought in 1977 after falling in love with Olivia Newton John as Sandy in Grease, and her bad girl look in the song “You're the one that I want” from the end of the movie. Which seemed to be constantly on tv and Top of the Pops. That the clip that rivaled it for being on tv all the time that year of Han and Luke operating the guns on the Falcon shooting at tie fighters ending with Han saying to Luke “great kid, don't get cocky” would be such an amazing film and still fueling the imagination of people decades later.
Some of my rare childhood memories that I have are linked to Star Wars. I remember queuing up round the corner with my family waiting to get into the cinema at Kings Lynn to see the rest of the movie that went along with that clip. Lucas really did capture the people's imagination everywhere. Marvel comics hit a home run with the comic strip adaption that made it over here in a UK comic book edition. I missed the first issue but got the following ones.
My friends and I were mad for anything Star Wars, it was all our playground conversation was for a long time. I even made my own tie fighter in class using a ping pong ball, cardboard, paper mâché and paint. I remember being jealous of those that had official merchandise, but still I had my tie fighter.
Back in the late seventies we had panini sticker books for football, and from time to time the odd hit movie. It was never like this day and age where there seems to be a sticker book to collect for everything that could even remotely be pimped to the public. We also had bubble gum cards and I remember collecting the cards and stickers for Empire Strikes Back. Well not exactly the cards but definitely the sticker book.
If seventies Darren had access to the stuff modern Darren has he would of been in a fanboys dream world. Back then we never had a foggiest the journey we would be taking with Han, Luke and Leia over the years. Let alone the constant fiddling Lucas would do to the movies we loved so much. South Park did such an amazing job of capturing what every fan was thinking (the clip below is definitely not safe for work) about Lucas and Spielberg because they did the same with another beloved character of theirs Indy.
On the video game front the first Star Wars game I played was a Commodore 64 port of the classic Star Wars arcade game in all its wireframe goodness. From there I progressed to the Atari ST port of the Return of the Jedi arcade game. After that in the nineties while working in Byfleet for a credit card company on my first pc, an Amstrad 16Mhz 386sx clam shell laptop I got taken totally away into the Star Wars universe and lived every fans dream of being able to pilot an X-Wing in the groundbreaking game X-Wing. Naturally the follow up X-Wing vs Tie Fighter was more of the same amazing goodness. And then the Star Wars franchise jumped on the Doom band wagon with the amazing Dark Jedi Knight, a rather cool Star Wars FPS.
My only brushes with the Star Wars games during the Sony console dominated late nineties and early noughties was by proxy of my boys when they played them. However I'm getting a chance to play some of those games now thanks to a recent Humble Bundle that gave me a crap load of them for under a tenner. But the Humble Bundle folks also gave me a load of Star Wars comics (including the original Marvel ones) recently as well, also for a criminally low price. TOP TIP keep an eye on the Humble Bundles, sign up for their alerts they have some great value deals on regularly.
In the late nineties I collected the cards that made up the Star Wars collectable card game that was out at the time. Didn't get to play the game sadly. Plus in a box when there were the anniversary celebrations and special editions released I collected the Tazos and little plastic busts that Walkers did as part of the promotions that Lucas film had given them the licence for.
Now days it seems we are spoilt for good quality Star Wars related boardgames. the main plus side is that we don't have to put up with thinly rebranded editions of Risk and Monopoly. But can experience the rich tapestry of the Star Wars universe with X-Wing miniatures, Armada, Imperial Assualt or the Living Card Game to name some of them. FFG have done such a great job bringing the Star Wars universe to the table top, although I think none gamers and gamers will agree not always cheaply.
Having implied that rebranded versions of Monopoly and Risk are just cashing in (well I'm not a Monopoly fan), one cashin that I would love to see is the Star Wars theme being applied to Love Letter. I think it would work very well, and I love Love Letter especially the Batman Love Letter, and a Star Wars themed version would be awesome.
I don't know if the above words make any sense or form some sort of coherent narrative, or even have a point. But I hope you enjoyed them, what are your experiences of Star Wars growing up and of the games (which ever media).
Finally if you haven't seen the movie Fanboys it's worth a watch, it's been out a while.