My Star Wars Life Part 4 – Baited Breath

It was sometime in early 1998 when I came across the Star Wars Magazine (the UK version of SW Insider until recent years). As I was flicking through a couple of things caught my attention, 1 – a mini-guide to the last few levels of a game called Jedi Knight and 2 – on set pictures of Star Wars Episode I.

Now, imagine this, a world where the internet is not everywhere. That was me. We had no internet at that point and so I had to wait another month to find out new Star Wars info when the next issue came out. And all we got was set pics, sometimes with an extra or two but nothing on the story. But there was a new Star Wars film coming out.

Until then I had to be content with what I could get my hands on. More toys of course. New books, definitely and after my birthday, on the required birthday money spending spree I got one of my favourite PC games ever, Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight. By today’s standards it looks shoddy but at the time it was beautiful. The cinematic cut scenes were amazing. The story was fantastic and you could choose to be Light or Dark side with different Force powers. So obviously I had two saved games.

Towards the end of the year rumours started up about the teaser trailer for Episode I. The title had been announced some time before if I remember correctly. On the rumoured day of the trailers release Dad and I were going to the cinema to see ‘Mark of Zorro’. I even asked him if he thought we’d see the trailer. He doubted it.

We sat through the trailers, obviously forgettable. The curtains closed. They opened again and the trailer started.

The Gungans coming out of the swamp. Wide shots of Theed. The title cards. ‘Every generation has a legend… Every journey has a first step… Every saga has a beginning…’ The space battle. Young Obi-Wan. What was that weird frog like thing? A droid army? Yoda? Prophesy? Balance in the Force? DOUBLE ENDED LIGHTSABER???

Needless to say I did not pay attention to Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins fighting for freedom in Mexico that night.

And I had to wait another 8 months to see it.

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