Well technically speaking it is four films but I’m counting the Star Wars trilogy as one because it is a single story told over three movies.
The only thing I really wanted to be growing up was to be a professional footballer. Unfortunately this dream was dashed from an early age by the fact that, to put it mildly, I was crap. I had no fall back plan, so I dreamed my hollow dreams and progressed through adolescence having no idea what direction to push myself in.
School held no interest for me. The stilted lessons bored me and the company of my peers left me uncomfortable and self-conscious. I was absent a lot, with no future planed out I could not see the need to achieve any grades. I didn’t want to go to university but conversely I had no desire to waste my life stuck in a tiny town that held no fascination.
I wanted to travel but had no clue how to make this happen. I did not come from a rich family so I could not simply dip into the bank of mum and dad. In a nut shell I lacked the courage of my convictions to just pack up and leave.
I craved adventure and new experiences, I even briefly considered joining the army. After all my dad and his dad before him had served and following in their footsteps seemed like a good as idea as any. Luckily my self-preservation kicked in and I shelved that idea.
Into this barren mindset stepped George Lucas’s creation and I was saved! Here was all the excitement I craved in celluloid form. The young dissatisfied farm boy was me, the rouge the embodiment of everything I aspired to and the princess, oh the princess…
I watched the three films religiously. Every possible moment was spent in a galaxy far, far away. Ten minutes to spare before the school bus? On went the VHS, to be resumed upon my return from the dreary house of learning. Days off where spent watching at least one off the three. I soaked up the lore like a sponge; the monthly magazine was on reserve at my local newsagent, books where purchased and devoured within one sitting, action figures collected and the soundtrack was bought.
To this day I can tell you that the skeleton that C-3PO walks past in the Dune Sea is that of a Krayt dragon, the names of the six bounty hunters that Vader hires to track down Han are forever etched onto my brain.I don’t need to Google these things, I just know them.
As I grew, Star Wars was supplanted with my longing to fit in and go with the flow, never one to make waves I believed it would be easier to get along with people if they did not think me a geek. I also believed girls would not be interested in me if they knew the full extent of my love for all things Imperial and to some extent I was right but denying my true self is a fools game, I only wished I realised that ten years ago.
The second film that got me through some tough times is Clerks.
As my attendance at school continued to dip I was offered the choice of improve it or leave. I left.
Gaining employment at my local supermarket I continued my stagnation. I was still stuck in neutral, the only difference was that I was getting paid for it.
I stuck out the unsociable hours and the management that couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery because I believed that was all I was destined for. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and as the months turned into years I began to feel the wanderlust of only five years previous.
Clerks gave me hope. Dante spoke to me, he was in exactly in the same position as me. He hated his job, he hated the customers, had no idea where he was going and him and his best friend talked about Star Wars.
This inspired me to leave Dunoon and move to Dundee. Enroll in collage and make something of my life. The only problem was that I still had no idea what to do. Anything would be better than nothing so I took a chance and went for sports coaching, if not a footballer maybe a football coach. Big mistake. Telling people what to do is a complete odds with my not wanting to talk to anyone personality.
I unsurprisingly quit and fell back on the only profession I had ever known, retail. Ten years and numerous name tags later I turned thirty. My life was slipping away from me and I had achieved bupkis. I started to panic, I wanted to do something worthwhile with my life, not waste it stacking shelves and pretending to be someone I was not. In an attempt to quell my inner worry I started watching the films I grew up with.
When I got to Clerks I noticed something I had missed years ago, this was Kevin Smith’s film, his vision. He wrote it and directed it, he cast himself and his best mate in it, it was HIS story. This Star Wars loving geek had written one of my favourite all time films.
I started to think heavily about this. Perhaps I had a story of my own to tell? After all I might be unable to talk to women but I’ve had my share of heartache, loss and misery. And good times I’ve had plenty of those as well. So maybe, maybe I could string a few scenes together, add a joke or two maybe even a explosion and bingo bango I have a screenplay entitled *insert name here*
And all of a sudden I have a new dream.