How often do references to things relating to James Bond films or Star Wars films crop up in every day life? The answer always seems to me to be 'quite frequently'. There can be few people in any country where this blog is read who have not heard of James Bond and at least some of the characters who appear in Star Wars.
I, for example, know that Ursula Andress walked out of the sea dressed in a white bikini (who does not know that?) and that Darth Vader, R2D2 and C3PO appear in Start Wars as do Light Sabres. I might dredge up other morsels if questioned more specifically on James Bond but, on the whole, my ignorance of these topics is astonishing. "So what?" you may well ask and, until recently I would have taken the view that not being able to complete Trivial Pursuits games nor half the quizes The Family play was a small price to pay for not having to endure those films.
Generally speaking I don't like science fiction nor fantasy and Bond and Start Wars seem to fit those categories rather well in my mind. So how come I am, and have been since I first read it in the early '70s, addicted to The Lord of The Rings? Why did I think Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy was superb and compelling? Why do I admire the ideas behind Anne McCaffrey's 'Ship' books? The answer, it occurred to me a few months ago, is blind prejudice. As that is a trait I find absolutely unacceptable in most walks of life I decided that I had better think again about James Bond and Star Wars.
So last week I hired the DVDs of Dr No (the first Bond Film from 1962) and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Episode 1 of the Star Wars Trilogy from 1999 - the sequence in which the six films should be viewed is, I discovered, the subject matter of many articles on the internet).
By the standards of modern film making and even TV series The Bond film seemed amateur and silly - but then it was made half a century ago. The Star Wars movie did nothing for me but it was interesting to see some of the characters of whom I have heard (although not Alec Guiness's character).
Will I watch some more? Yes. I have the second of each series waiting by the television and when I have some ironing or a quiet evening then I may well educate myself further. Never again will I be able to claim that I have never seen a Bond or Start Wars film right through.