Chris Wooding’s first experience watching Star Wars is one that thousands of fans around the world have also shared.
He watched Return of the Jedi, the third in the original trilogy, on a taped VHS at home when he was roughly six years old — and thus began a 27-year-long love affair with arguably one of the most popular movie franchises in history.
“I just grew to love the world. I enjoy the characters, they’re all very well written. They fulfill all the various types of archetypes that exist in a good adventure story,” said the 33-year-old Victoria resident.
“It’s quite possibly the best form of escapist adventure. No matter what’s going on in the world and in your life, you can sit down and watch Star Wars and be taken out of your own life to a galaxy far far away.”
Fans have every reason to be jumping into their storm trooper suits with the newest film Star Wars: The Force Awakens released in theatres Friday.
Released a decade after the last prequel, Revenge of the Sith, the $4-billion Disney film will also feature the return of fan favourites Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Chewbacca and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
Wooding has watched the series dozens of times and is jumping at the chance to see the newest film.
“It’s the kind of Star Wars film that, quite frankly, I never thought we’d be getting,” he said. “With just six films, it’s just resonated into pop culture in a way that very few things have been able to top.”
Memorabilia has also been flying off the shelves in local stores.
Cherry Bomb Toys on Broad Street sells hundreds of vintage and collectable Star Wars memorabilia, including figurines, comic books, lego, original film stock, cards, posters, life-sized Chewbacca and R2D2 cutouts and a life-sized model of Han in Carbonate for a cool $3,000.
B Woodward, co-owner of Cherry Bomb Toys, said old and new collectors have been snatching up whatever they can get their hands on.
“The Star Wars craze has been going for months. What we’re seeing is people are building up on their vintage,” said Woodward, who has been a fan of the franchise for years. “They want to rebuild the old collection or they want the new and high-end stuff.”
Both Wooding and Woodward agreed they will wait until the anticipation dies down before they hit the theatre.