Don't get me wrong. I absolutely loved the original Star Wars film. I saw it three times and even got an abridged version of the first act on 8mm film (no, we didn't have DVDs back then). My favourite computer games ever were those in the X-Wing series. However, I am convinced part of the reason the movie was so good was that, like most science fiction fans, I went along to see it with almost zero expectations. I knew it was going to be Saturday Morning Cinema, 1920s space opera schlock. And it was - but what took me by surprise was that it was absolute brilliant Saturday Morning Cinema, 1920s space opera schlock.
At roughly the same time, another science fiction movie came out - Close Encounters of the Third Kind. For that, I had huge expectations - and as a result it was a disappointment. I now quite like the film (at least, in the version where Spielberg trimmed the endless hours of characters making copies of Devil's Tower), but back then, with expectations rampant, it was a depressing let down.
To be honest, I don't know if I can be bothered to go to the new Star Wars movie - but if I do, it will be with expectations suitably lowered. That way, I hope that I will have the same transformative thrill as the first time round. But for all my Star Wars obsessed friends, please (please) don't expect too much. I don't want you grumpy all through Christmas.