There's a programme on Radio 4 from time to time (and it has made the transition to TV) called I've Never Seen Star Wars. In it Marcus Brigstocke gets a guest to try things that they have never tired before. Conversation ensues, and it can be amusing.
Anyway, the title clearly derives from how unlikely it is that anyone (of a certain generation or three, at least) will not have seen it.
In case you’re worrying, I saw the original – back when it was just called Star Wars, without the Episode IV: A New Hope subtitle – in the cinema (probably second run, not first, but still). And the second and third, of course.
But then there was the prequel trilogy. To be honest, when The Phantom Menace came out, I don’t think I was all that interested. I had known from early on that Lucas had planned the original as part of the middle trilogy of three. But by the time the prequels started, it had been so long that it just didn’t seem very important, you know?
And more importantly, in 1999 when it came out, I had a small child. We weren’t going to many films that weren’t aimed at like two-year olds. And after that, there was always something more interesting, more pressing to see…
I mislead you slightly, here. I did, in fact, see The Phantom Menace, after a fashion: on a shonky old VHS, with a three-year old sweetly chattering on the sofa next to me throughout. It hardly counts. And I definitely haven’t seen the others.
And I know everyone says, “Don’t bother, don’t waste your time, they’re terrible;” but they can only say that because they’ve seen them. And now – now there’s a new one coming down the line. Episode VII, The Force Awakens is due out in December, and I’ll certainly want to see it. Of course, it will follow on from Return of the Jedi, and it probably won’t matter if you haven’t seen episodes I-III; but it just wouldn’t feel right to not see them.
So I intend to watch the prequel trilogy. I was going to start today – the fourth of May be with you, and all that – but events got in the way. Still, over the next few weeks I’ll watch all three, and report back here.
Wish me luck.