From January 2023, Star Wars on display at Bloomfields Shopping Centre, Dúnlaoghaire, Co Dublin.
“I first saw the Star Wars film ‘A new Hope” on TV at home in Drimnagh in 1982. I thought it was like nothing I had ever seen before.
In or around September 1981 or 1982, I was on my way to school* early one morning, and noticed a large crowd gathered outside a shop that we always walked by called ‘Terry’s’** which was on the Long Mile Road. I managed to squeeze through the crowd and was blown away by what I saw – The whole shop window had Star Wars toys displayed. I can’t remember exactly what was there, but I remember distinctly that a Millennium Falcon and an X-wing were on display. Everyone was enthralled.
For the next two Christmases I got a mixture of Action Man and Star Wars toys, and for birthdays too! When I seriously began to try to collect Star Wars toys in the mid-80s, the demand seemed to have died down, (or maybe not, and production just stopped) so that was the end of that, or so I thought.
I didn’t see much about Star Wars until around 1997, when one of my younger brothers*** walked by me with a new range of Star Wars figures. I couldn’t believe they had re-issued a new range that looked even better than the originals.
I decided I would buy one or two figures and vehicles just for old times sake…
Over the years the collection grew (with plenty of Star Wars presents from my wife) to the size it is now. I used to have a room in my house where the collection was set up and my son and three daughters played a lot with them. That’s why Chewbacca is missing an arm! Then as my family grew and the space was needed otherwise, I had to store it up in my attic.
This is the first time they have been on display for about 16 years and I haven’t added much to it in that time. I wouldn’t have thought of displaying them publicly until I saw the Action Force display and story the Museum of Childhood Ireland had posted on Facebook.
I hope it brings back some good memories.”
Jonathan Kelly, January 2023.
*Assumption Primary school, Walkinstown
**Terry’s was a newsagents on the Long Mile Road that sold toys, sweets, cigarettes and newspapers. The shop window always had toys displayed, mainly Matchbox and Corgi cars, as far as I can remember. It closed in 1984/85 and Barnwell’s Bar is now in it’s place.
***There were five children in the Kelly family. Four boys and one girl. All were Star Wars fans.
On display now from the Museum of Childhood Ireland ( January 2023) at Bloomfields Shopping Centre, Dúnlaoghaire, Co Dublin.
Star Wars is an American epic space opera multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. The franchise has been expanded into various films and other media, including television series, video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions, and themed areas, comprising an all-encompassing fictional universe. Star Wars is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
The original film (Star Wars), retroactively subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), was followed by the sequels Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), forming the original Star Wars trilogy. Lucas later returned to the series to direct a prequel trilogy, consisting of Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). In 2012, Lucas sold his production company to Disney, relinquishing his ownership of the franchise. This led to a sequel trilogy, consisting of Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017), and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
All nine films of the “Skywalker Saga” were nominated for Academy Awards, with wins going to the first two releases. Together with the theatrical live action “anthology” films Rogue One (2016) and Solo (2018), the combined box office revenue of the films equated to over US$10 billion, which makes it the second-highest-grossing film franchise of all time. Additional upcoming films are in the works, including an untitled movie from Taika Waititi and Rogue Squadron directed by Patty Jenkins, both currently without release dates.
The Star Wars franchise depicts the adventures of characters “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, in which humans and many species of aliens (often humanoid) co-exist with robots (typically referred to in the films as ‘droids’), who may assist them in their daily routines; space travel between planets is common due to lightspeed hyperspace technology. The planets range from wealthy, planet-wide cities to deserts scarcely populated by primitive tribes. Virtually any Earth biome, along with many fictional ones, has its counterpart as a Star Wars planet which, in most cases, teem with sentient and non-sentient alien life. The franchise also makes use of other astronomical objects such as asteroid fields and nebulae. Spacecraft range from small Starfighters, to huge capital ships such as the Star Destroyers, to space stations such as the moon-sized Death Stars. Telecommunication includes two-way audio and audiovisual screens, holographic projections, and HoloNet (internet counterpart).
The universe of Star Wars is generally similar to ours but its laws of physics are less strict allowing for more imaginative stories. One result of that is a mystical power known as the Force which is described in the original film as “an energy field created by all living things … [that] binds the galaxy together”. The field is depicted as a kind of pantheistic god. Through training and meditation, those whom “the Force is strong with” exhibit various superpowers (such as telekinesis, precognition, telepathy, and manipulation of physical energy). It is believed nothing is impossible for the Force. The mentioned powers are wielded by two major knightly orders at conflict with each other: the Jedi, peacekeepers of the Galactic Republic who act on the light side of the Force through non-attachment and arbitration, and the Sith, who use the dark side by manipulating fear and aggression. While Jedi Knights can be numerous, the Dark Lords of the Sith (or ‘Darths’) are intended to be limited to two: a master and their apprentice. Another notable fictional element of Star Wars is hyperspace, an alternate dimension that allows faster-than-light travel…