A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
42 years ago as a very young boy I sat in a cinema theatre and my life changed. Those words above, the blast of brass that introduced the John Williams soundtrack, the escaping starship followed by an Imperial Cruiser that filled the screen, made the speakers rumble and seemed to take minutes to enter the screen - Star Wars! If you haven’t seen the opening moments of the first film of 1977, you must. Great cinema is remembered and revered and I’m not the only one who has spent the last 42 years closely linked to this wonderful fiction.
In speaking about this in my assemblies recently, I enjoyed showing the students that opening few minutes, but hopefully they took the message that the wonderful world created by George Lucas over the course of 9 films is part of a genre that all students should explore - fiction. In recent years, and as I get older, I have become a little distant from the Skywalker-led rebellion. Equally middle age has put me further away from another favourite fiction involving Middle Earth - the Hobbit. However, the return of the Jedi in the most recent outing Rise of Skywalker reminded me of my youth and the fascination for great stories that I developed then. Looking back it was fantasy, sci-fi and heroic tales that hooked me on reading.
For this I will always be grateful. Those stories drew me in, they let my imagination run wild, they inspired me to find more and perhaps most importantly develop a love for reading. This love has stayed with me throughout those 42 years, through a degree in English Literature and the worthy classics that this involved and now in a fascination with politics, business and psychology. In 2019, I promised myself that I would read more, and I did ok managing 27 books across flights, holidays and evenings when I vowed to put my phone down! For 2020 I make the same commitment, but this time with a new edge - more fiction. I can commend this to you all, and I hope our students take the bait and find their love of reading too.