There’s a meme that makes regular reappearances on social media, in which people use metaphor and reference to explain how old they are; “I’m [Insert Generational Marker] years old,” they’d say, and everyone else who shares that particular experience reads it and goes, oh, remember [Generational Marker]? I remember that, they’re just like me, I’m not alone. I mention this not to shame anyone taking part in whatever incarnation of this meme they might have seen, but because I found myself accidentally thinking in terms of that meme earlier today, upon realizing I lived through a moment in pop culture history we’ll likely never see again. You see, dear reader, I can remember when Star Wars was not only uncool, but considered a dead franchise left in the past.
To be a late teen in the early 1990s was quite a thing, especially in the UK; there was grunge, or whatever the British echo of that proved to be (People listening to Nirvana records, basically), and then there was Britpop, the musical movement that seemingly encompassed everything around it. For a certain generation of teen nerd, however, there was also the experience of finding fast friendship with other people who were Star Wars fans, and this being both a novelty and a sign that you’d found your people, or something close to it.
I can remember talking to people and making reference to things in The Empire Strikes Back and some people just not getting it; they hadn’t watched the movies as kids, or if they had, they hadn’t rewatched them and read the comics and the novels, and the details had simply left them, replaced by more important things necessary to ahead in life. This was the culture back then, and it’s one that I miss — when Star Wars was a niche interest (at best) and not a lifestyle supported by multiple industries dedicated to ensuring that Content Is Always Available No Matter What.
I know that, today, Star Wars is in a strange holding pattern outside of a handful of television shows, but still — there are those TV shows, and the comics, the novels, the toys, and the inevitable movies still to come. Even if there isn’t a new movie every year, it’s not something that will ever fully go away ever again, and I find myself sad about that. Sometimes, it’s good to let these things just be nostalgia again, at least for awhile.