Israel Stories

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Force

……….And this is our basement. 25sqm, ideal for an office, spare bedroom or playroom.

“We’re not really allowed down hear”, said my eldest daughter, “its where Abba keeps his whisky and his Star Wars toys. See over there”, she pointed, “that’s a Darth Bader mask”.

“Darth Vader”, I corrected her. The prospective buyers of my house just stared at me blankly.

I tried to break the silence. “I don’t suppose they have Darth Vader masks in Bnei Barak.”

Needless to say they didn’t buy my house. I tried to use the Force actually I tried to use force, but to no avail.

The next lot of prospective buyers seemed a little more modern. “Yeah I love Star Wars, I remember my Dad telling me about going to the premiere”.

“Er, he didn’t take you?” I asked nervously. He just laughed. “Don’t be silly”, he said, “I wasn’t even born then, it was thirty years ago!”

I suddenly felt old, and I blamed it on George Lucas. If we didn’t have milestone I wouldn’t be able to gauge my age and would live in the everlasting sunshine of the spotless mind. Everything would be just a few years ago. I wouldn’t have to say 20, 25, 30 or even 35 years ago and I certainly wouldn’t have to say that I went to see Star Wars 30 years ago, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Yes a bloody long time ago.

I suppose its all relative. My grandmother was born just before the First World War. History will probably record the world wars as more of a milestone than Star Wars. She remembers a time before the modern transport and television. More importantly she remembers a time before the State of Israel. She remembers a time when there were 3,500,000 Jews in Poland and she remembers a time when you could have a night out for shilling, and still have change for the bus.

I tried to explain to my daughters the significance of Star Wars and why after 30 years people still love it. They stared at me blankly.

So I walked away feeling old. Could I still be Luke Skywalker even though I was nearly 40, or would I be Obi Wan Kenobi? That was a sobering thought. I can remember running round the garden in my parents house, plastic light saber hooked to my belt, as my brother (an even younger Han Solo), and I fought off the imaginary storm troopers and Darth Vader. Ah, happy days I thought, swimming in the sea of nostalgia.

And then my heart lifted as I saw my daughter with my light saber hit her sister, wearing the Darth Vader mask, over the head, shouting “Die rebel scum”. But as with all waves they come crashing down eventually. First the tears then the arguments then the ‘yes dear I was looking after them, and scum isn’t a rude word, yes I’ll take it away from them, when I was their age I used to hit Jonny over the head, it doesn’t hurt, OK, OK, bedtime girls’.

Then I settled down to watch TV and as channel 2 came into view I heard a reporter on the news talking about 30 years of Star Wars. In typical Israeli style they claimed to have invented the concept, the technology and even traced the actors Jewish and Israeli roots.

The concept was obviously that the Torah was the Force. The technology was the same as ideas people were working on here at the time and the actors or rather Natalie Portman was born here.

So its official Star Wars is Israeli. The country isn’t even 60 yet, in fact when Star Wars was released Israel was 29, hardly old enough to create such a masterpiece of cinematic history. Then I realized that George Lucas was about 29 when he started the Star Wars project.

I can feel a mid-life crisis coming on.

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