When I was six years old, my father took me to see a new film in the local cinema called ‘Star Wars™’.
I was completely blown away by the experience:
The story, the music, I was in love with everything, the special effects, the characters – I’d never seen anything like it on TV or in the cinema before. It would be the first of many Star Wars™ cinema viewings with my dad over the following months. And, being just six years old, I firmly believed it was all real and that one day, when I grew up, I would be fighting alongside Luke and Han Solo against the evil Imperial Empire.
From that day, every stick I picked up was a lightsaber and every toy gun I owned was a blaster.
I also spent countless hours trying to re-create the magnificent spaceships that I’d seen in the film out of LEGO®. This proved to be an exceptionally difficult and frustrating task considering the limited type of LEGO® bricks which were available at the time. Needless to say, it took a massive amount of imagination for anyone to guess which Star Wars™®spaceship I had built and, back in those early days, my LEGO® Star Wars™ battles were limited to spaceships only as minifigures didn’t exist!
The following year saw the dawn of a LEGO® evolution:
LEGO® System Space appeared on the High Street shop shelves. I still remember seeing my first glimpse of a LEGO® Space set on the shelf of our local Woolworth’s. I swear my heart nearly stopped from the excitement of the vision before me: Not only were there actual LEGO®spaceships but also actual LEGO® spacemen (minifigures) with walkie-talkies and RAY GUNS! (BLASTERS!!!) I begged and pleaded with my mother to buy me a set there and then and promised her I would do anything if she let me have a set that day. She eventually relented, and I became the very proud and excited owner of my first ever LEGO® Space set. Finally, I would have some LEGO® parts worthy enough of my LEGO® Star Wars™ empire ambitions!
“I sense something, a presence I’ve not felt since….”
Thirty-six years and several Star Wars™ movies later, my five-year-old son received another cool Christmas present from his Uncle Julian: This time he received his first LEGO® set – not just any random LEGO® set – but a LEGO® Star Wars™ V-Wing Starfighter which daddy started building for him with no encouragement whatsoever.
As I pieced those first bricks together, something stirred inside me which was much more than just nostalgia; the excitement of a new LEGO® build that I had not felt for decades, the satisfaction of the construction process as the pieces linked together seamlessly to gradually form an ingeniously engineered vehicle but also the relentless urge to complete the set quickly to appreciate the finished product.
I was hooked once again
But this time was different. It was actual LEGO® Star Wars™ based on the actual films! Everything I had dreamed about building out of LEGO® as a child had now become a reality.
And so it began; a re-kindled passion for LEGO® Star Wars™ which possibly most people at my age (especially my long-suffering wife!) will never understand and, as I sit here typing this blog, periodically glancing at the majestic LEGO® Star Wars™ models which line the shelves of this office, I really don’t think that this passion will end any time soon.