I was born in 1971. Which means that growing up, I was one of the light-sabre generation. The generation for whom the wisdom of Obi Wan & Yoda represented the highest ideals.
The pursuit of patience, serenity and inner peace that Yoda spoke about in the jungles of Dagobah.
A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.
The nobility of the Jedi Knights first spoken of by old Ben in his desert cottage.
For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic.
And their powers, founded in the mysterious “Force”.
The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.
These were what we aspired to. To be worthy of the light sabre – the ultimate in cool techno-gadgets. I think there’s a whole tribe of men within ten years of my age who, if asked what sci-fi device they would most like to own, would pick the light sabre. As old Ben called it “A more elegant weapon”.
When the new “prequels” came out, I didn’t like The Phantom Menace. I didn’t like midichlorian counts, they took away the mystique of the Force. I didn’t understand why there was some great mystery associated with the idea that Senator Palpatine became the emperor (I mean, we supposedly all knew the fate of Anakin, so why were we pretending not to know Palpatine’s fate??) And even Caerulia could drive a truck though the holes in the plot, from a continuity perspective. So I never saw (and still haven’t seen) Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
But like many who were followers of the true teachings of the original story, I was one who knew the quotes of Master Yoda and old Ben Kenobi very well. And just like millions of geeks around the world, I put Lucius and I down as Jedi in the 2001 census.
I also found in Cyberia (where else?) a discussion group who treated Jedi-ism very seriously. Well, way too seriously. And because I love a good debate, I got stuck into their discussions. One girl in North America took offence at my rejection of the newer chapters of the story. I called them “non-canonical”. So she called me, quite derisively, “a Kenobi-ist”.
That label still makes me giggle inside.