Couch Potato Pickings

Episode IV - A New Hope, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

There are people of a certain age who hold the original Star Wars trilogy (Episode IV – A New Hope, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) in high esteem. Just check out this amusing clip from cult comedy series Spaced, in which a kid attempts to buy some Phantom Menace merchandise…

If you share Couch Potato traits like me, then you’ll know that ITV have been showing Star Wars films for the past few weeks (Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith). However, these were the Star Wars movies released in the late 1990s/naughties, and if you are anything like Simon Pegg‘s character Tim in the above clip, you’ll have been ignoring them while waging campaigns of disdain against everyone who’s dared to slot them into their TV viewing schedules. I’ve only seen the Clones one, but I wasn’t too impressed.

Episode IV - A New Hope, Harrison Ford

Star Wars (aka Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) is, however, a different matter. Does anyone else get confused  by the Star Wars numbering? Episode IV was known just as Star Wars when I was a kid, so I always get thrown by the Episode IV – A New Hope subtitle. However, those recent movies are prequels to that first ever movie, so in the franchise’s timeline, I guess it makes sense.

Anyway, I saw this first ever movie once as a child in the 1970s, and both of its sequels in the early 1980s. And then I saw the trio once again in the 1990s when they were re-released with extra bits and pieces. That’s it.

Needless to say, I’m not that into Star Wars. But, Star Wars is into me. By that I mean that the original 1970s and 1980s trilogy has invaded my life over the years in a variety of memorable ways. Here are my favourite 4 Star Wars episodes:

1. The time when my sister and I declared a war of our own on the boy down the road for menacing our cat with his light sabre. It all ended in tears.

Episode IV - A New Hope, Alec Guinness

2. The time I attempted to make Star Wars Stew from the Blue Peter Book of Gorgeous Grub. It was just sausage stew with an exciting name, but yum nevertheless.

3. Ah, the fun we had in school windband playing March of the Ewoks and Ewok Celebration… I doubt it was as much fun for the families sitting through the school concert though.

4. The first time someone signed off an email on 4th May with a playful pun on that legendary expression. It still makes me smile now.

Episode IV - A New Hope

Sci-fi and fantasy and war may not be my things, but Star Wars is to some extent part of me. And, considering the number of cultural refrences to this franchise that exist out there, it has, in some ways, got to be part of everyone. What do you think?

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is showing on ITV1 today, 21st November, at 4.25pm.