This Is 40
On its 40th birthday, a quick word about how Star Wars has messed with my mind.
I've often talked about how the Star Wars Special Edition had such a big impact on me as a kid that it literally DEFINED my perception of time.
Star Wars already felt like it had been around forever when the Special Edition came out, so if something was 20 years old, it must be OLD. And if something was 40 years old, well, that's twice as old as Star Wars was in 1997, so it may as well be prehistoric. And so on and so forth.
Now that the 40th anniversary has rolled around today, however, I realise that what Star Wars really did was WARP my perception of time.
No other movie from 1977 feels as ancient as Star Wars, but it's also true that no other movie from 1977 feels as fresh and as relevant as Star Wars does today.
It's insane to use Star Wars as a yardstick for the passing of time, because Star Wars exists outside time.
That's partly because of the film's setting, of course (a 'used future' taking place a long time ago), but it's mainly because no other film is as deeply woven into our culture as Star Wars.
No other contemporary story draws as deeply on primal, timeless mythology, while simultaneously usurping those old myths and legends in our collective consciousness.
20 years can be a long, long time. Or, as I've found out since 1997, it can be a very short time.
So happy birthday, Star Wars! Bring on the next 40 years, or the next 20, or the next 80.
It's all relative, and it's all the same to you.