When I was a kid, as I was joyously passing my time with books of faerie queens and their kings and castles and elves and trolls (ones you would actually like now, no matter their demeanor, as opposed to their newer version) and other fantastic things, or of stars that were so wished upon with their own space fantastic things in star logs I came across Star Wars. Done … hold on … where’s my Bucco’s cap? … we goin’ now? … cool … done.
I had already been there in my head, I had Foundationed, I’d Shanarra’d, I had Rama’d, I had Moted in the eyes of gods, I had Dune’d and Hobbited, I’d Shadowed of Torturers or Swans, I’d … I was a sponge of I’d I’d’s, but Star Wars? It gave me my first real visual of all the opera’s dramas beyond some of the fave camp on TV. It hit me with a “real.”
As I sit watching the final episode of Lost In Space season 3 though, the original Lost In Space being the best of the camp fave, I remember a hollowed out husk of a truck, just beyond a rock wall and just up the hill at the back of Archer Road Elementary School, (a place where years later we would pitch stickball against its gym wall) just beyond the comfort zone of our teachers had they thought to look, where we would play space and being lost in it and argue over who’s parts were whose until, decided, we would recreate episodes or build new ones. We were our own fantastic things at recess right before our teachers started turning their heads.
That husk of a truck was our spaceship, the overgrown grass it sat in was the latest planet we would come upon to explore. Dave or I would be Will or Dad Robinson or even Dr Smith if we were feeling devilish that day. The girls would be Penny and Judy and Mom Robinson and one of us, depending on the day, might even be lucky enough to wave our arms and cry danger. The stories we created were complex and involved, well, as complex and involved as our 8 year old selves could be, sometimes continuing ones that we would tap tap tap our shoes under our desks in impatient anticipation to get back to. Yes, yes, Mrs or Mr, we gotcha, learning things, blah, blah … is it lunch time yet?
As sit watching the final episode of Lost in Space season 3, glorying in the Robinsons finding their way, as I always knew they would, now or then, in stunning visuals and a wonderful re-telling of an old campy tale, I do though take a second.
A second to just miss the days before Star Wars did the visualizing for us and we jockeyed over who would play a robot.