I saw a Star War the other night, and I’m conflicted. Not because I didn’t like the film – I really, really did, and will be seeing it again as soon as I can, but because, perhaps more than any one other thing, the Star Wars universe has had a considerable influence on me over the years, and this, while it will by no means be the last Star Wars film ever made, was the last of a saga that started when I was too young to see it.

I have distinct memories of watching and re-watching a VHS recording of A New Hope that was taped off of ITV (it had a really distinctive British Airways advert, so it can’t have been BBC), and it and its sequels started a fascination with visual effects that has stuck with me to this day.

I decided to make computer graphics my career because of the Star Wars special editions; some of the earliest things I built in 3D were Star Wars ships (happily lost to the mists of time now – they were terrible). The prequels aren’t good films, but if you stuck the good bits of each one together, you’d get a film that made no sense but was an awesome spectacle from start to finish.

The newer films are cinematic popcorn. They are fun, for the most part harmless, and they fulfil the need for wonder that my inner seven year old desires. On top of that The Last Jedi has one of the most beautiful shots ever seen in a Star Wars film, and one I would gladly have printed huge on a wall at home.

I won’t spoil the Rise of Skywalker here. I enjoyed it. Others might not. But that’s ok. I’m not one of those Star Wars fans that thinks that if your opinion differs from mine it is in some way invalid. I am happy to have all Star Wars all the time – it’s a wonderful universe to let your imagination play in.

So thank you to all the filmmakers, authors, artists, game developers, musicians, actors and all the rest who have dipped their toes into that universe and created so much wonder.

May The Force Be With You, Always.