Oh my word.
I’ve talked about our differences before, but Exposing 40 and I are great friends.
Even though I nearly once ruined her birthday by insisting she watch Die Hard, a film she hated with the fire of a thousand suns.
Even though I will never like one of her favourite films, Love, Actually and find it offensive on more levels than The Shard has floors.
Our friendship endures.
Films are a lifeblood to me. I’m passionate about the movies. A cinema (any cinema) is my happy place. And all because when I was 4 my parents took me to see Return of the Jedi.
The Star Wars universe basically shaped my life. That first big screen experience set me on a road that shaped my educational choices, meant I found a group of likeminded geeks at college who remain friends to this day, and am working in the entertainment industry as a business owner with a wookiee fetish.
So when, relatively soon after meeting, E40 told me that she’d a. never seen Star Wars b. had little to no interest in ever seeing it and c. really disliked sci-fi, I made it my mission to change her mind.
And it only took me 5 years.
This afternoon we sat down, I slipped Episode IV into the DVD player, and pressed play.
Shit me, I was nervous. I mean, one of my all-time favourite films and here I was about to share it with someone who in all likelihood was going to detest it. And I hope I came across as zen as I was trying to project… breath, be cool, use The Force.
What was great was that I really tried to watch it through the eyes of someone who’d never seen it before, notice details that pass you by when it’s a film you’ve seen countless times and often stick on as a visual comfort blanket when you’re sick, sad or hungover.
It got emotional.
The joy that came from explaining tiny details (‘C3PO is a dick, he has no redeeming features…. Han Solo’s a scoundrel but we love him’) and listening to her reactions (‘It’s like Lord of the Rings!’) made me really watch it again and engage with it. And bless her, never once did E40 tease me over the fact that I had tears in my eyes for a good half of it. Bloody Obi-Wan and his noble death tendencies.
As the credits rolled I looked over for the final reaction…
‘I enjoyed that! When can we watch the next one?’