THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE: By Carolyn Aldis
So, I had the opportunity to meet some of the characters from a series of films that have a huge following…Star Wars, the staple of my childhood.
I remember the thrill of going to London to watch The Return Of The Jedi as an 8-year-old, walking through the busy street, keeping a tight hold of my Dad’s hand, every eye on us as we swept into the cinema, feeling like royalty…when my Dad saw the price of the tickets, I think he wished he was royalty…
When the films were shown over Christmas, we all settled around our black and white 14-inch TV, to watch the two forces battle it out.
So, being able to go to a “Feel the Force” day was really exciting for me (I think the two children I took with me enjoyed it, too.) It was really cool to meet a life-size Chewbacca, weird to have Darth Vader breathing down my neck intimidatingly and creepy to be followed by Darth Sidious.
For some reason, Trevor and Simon were there and I suddenly felt a real sense of awe…these guys had been my Saturday morning comrades, making me laugh over my cereal as they “Swung their pants!” and sang silly songs in The Singing Corner and generally messed about on Going Live.
I hurried over, having given up explaining to the children who they were, the concept of only a handful of celebrities in my day lost on them. I surreptitiously tried to take a picture of them, but Simon saw me and said “Do you want a picture with us?” which reduced me to a giggling girl who kept saying “You guys are so cool.”
Much as it was a great experience, it made me feel old…surrounded by characters from my childhood, I could see the years reflected back at me, in the many laughter lines around the comedy duo’s eyes.
I also felt a bit guilty, especially when Simon asked if I knew what they were doing now…I didn’t.
I had enjoyed their Saturday morning antics and then things had changed and I hadn’t given them a second thought until I had come face to face with them. It turns out that they have continued working together and now produce podcasts for the next generation to listen to.
Our lives continue, like living in a parallel universe, carrying on until they cross over and meet up again, bringing people back onto our radar, reminding us of our youth and how time has passed by.
Looking round the room, the Storm Troopers, R2D2 and Chewbacca looked no different from the first film I had watched as a young girl. In the most recent Star Wars movie, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford revisited the roles that shot them to fame, resulting in many comments about their aged appearance, that they should have somehow stayed the same.
I think it pushes insecurity buttons in all of us, to see our heroes ageing, to realise that none of us can escape the marks of time.
Only the likes of R2D2 can look the same nearly 40 years on.