My Inspiration – Toby Weidmann (Metrodome)

Thursday, August 19 2010
My Inspiration – Toby Weidmann (Metrodome)

“Let The Wookie Win”

Star Wars

Okay, so it has to be Star Wars doesn’t it? Wow, what a surprise!

I saw Episode IV: A New Hope, as it’s now called, back then it was just plain old Star Wars, when I was five years old and it left a deep and lasting impression on me. I remember everything about the experience. I remember it was my older brother’s birthday treat, and my dad drove myself, my brother and two of his friends to The Picturehouse cinema in Stafford to see the Saturday matinee screening. I remember the boring wildlife documentary short beforehand was about a stag in the Highlands. I remember thinking lightsabers were cool and that Jawas were more scary than Tusken Raiders (or Sand People). I remember telling my dad really loudly that I wanted a Wookie for Christmas (much to his embarrassment, I’m sure).

I remember the interval (yes, I’m that old I remember intervals in films) fell just after Threepio and Artoo saved Han, Luke, the Princess and Chewie in the trash compactor. I remember queuing up to buy a screwball ice-cream, before sitting back in my seat (although in truth I probably didn’t sit in it that much I was so excited) and promptly munching my way through the sickly sweet ice-cream to the bright blue ball of gum at the bottom of the container.

After the film, as we drove home and listened to a truncated version of the film on audio cassette (a birthday present!), reliving every exhilarating moment, I remember thinking: when I grow up I want to be Han Solo and have a Wookie for my best pal and fly around the universe in a starship that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs (I didn’t even know what a parsec was but it sounded really, really fast, much faster than my dad’s beige Saab) and blow up evil space stations shouting “Yahoo!” to no-one in particular. Sadly, this never came to pass, but I still keep a little black waistcoat in my closet just in case.

As I’ve grown up there are films that now rank higher in my affections than Star Wars – I often wonder if Star Wars hadn’t made such a big impression on me as a child whether Blade Runner would still be my favourite film as an adult – but it will always hold a special place in my heart. It sparked in me a love of film that has never abated, and I see Star Wars as the defining moment in my youth that set me on my career path, leading me to work in the film and video industry.

I may not watch it as much now (I have easily seen it more than 100 times) and I can’t quote it off by heart like I used to(even the alien bits), but I think the Force will always be with this film. Bring on the Blu-ray…

•HMV’s My Inspiration is about the artists, actors and directors we love, sharing with us the lyrics and songs, poetry and dialogue that have inspired them. The journey began in 2006, when David Bowie became the first artist to take part, selecting Syd Barrett’s Gigolo Aunt as his inspiration. Since that time, many of our greatest icons and best new artists from the world of entertainment have featured.

We at the Raygun are asking the UK home entertainment trade for the films, people, or even songs, that inspired them to become part of our business.