Over the weekend, after plotting various bank heists and the ultimate downfall of the Government, Karen and I decided to relax by watching “Bring Back...” hosted by fat, friendly, fun Bristolian Justin Lee Collins.
The premise of the show is simple. Mr Lee Collins picks a programme or film from yesteryear and attempts to get the original cast members back together for a brief televised reunion. It’s sort of like Friends Reunited for rich has-been celebs who all hate each other... Not particularly edifying I must admit but Justin’s targets this time were the original cast of Star Wars and naturally, being a fully paid up member of the Star Wars generation (original motion picture trilogy) it was an absolute must-see.
Now the show only works because Justin is so charming. Which is quite inexplicable given that he looks like an overweight foreign exchange student from Sweden. Too much hair. Too much beard. Too much gut. And yet Justin has undoubtedly got “it” – whatever “it” is. You can’t help but like the guy.
So. Justin draws up his hit list – Princess Leia, Luke, Han, Chewie, Darth Vadar, the droids – even Boba Fett. The air is momentarily heavy with anticipation... if he could actually do this it would be truly amazing. But despite Justin’s initial success charming his way into not only Carrie’s Fisher’s house but also her bathroom, reality, out of the blue, suddenly bites.
And it bites hard and on the arse.
Mark Hamill refuses to do it. Or rather his agent refuses on his behalf to do it unless Justin can come up with $50,000. Hmm. Methinks Luke to the dark side has turned... so Skywalker bites the dust. Harrison Ford you just know from the outset is unattainable. There’s no point even trying and Justin knows it. Han gets scrapped. Justin manages to collar Leia, Lando and Chewie – they all agree to interviews but not to the reunion. Close but no cigar. It’s all looking a bit ropey.
Typically – in the end – it’s only the Brits who are up for it.
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), Kenny Baker (R2D2) and most amazing of all, Dave Prowse (Darth Vadar) all appear for the considerably downsized reunion.
Now I must confess when Justin first drew up his hit list my first comment to Karen was “well snugglebun, he can forget Dave Prowse – he’s dead.”
And I genuinely thought he was.
I’m sure I remember reading a news report about Dave Prowse popping his enormous clogs years and years ago. Did I dream it? Did I just imagine it? I must have ‘cos there he was larger than life on the small screen. Or rather smaller than life. Poor bloke. The years have not been kind... but at least he bothered to turn up (unlike the big walking carpet and Leia in her metal bikini). Other than that though it was a case of Star Wars without the actual stars... Oh well, nice try Justin.
The only other highlight of the show for me was witnessing what a complete and utter arsehole Anthony Daniels (C3PO) is. Pretentious. Arrogant. Haughty. And, aside from his “golden rod” role, a complete failure as an actor. The man was totally irredeemable. Civil but politely sneery and awfully condescending. I didn’t like him at all. And to make matters worse he was, by all accounts, really nasty to Kenny Baker throughout the filming of all three films, refusing to talk to him most of the time and obviously seeing dear old Ken as being well beneath him.
No dwarf jokes please. You just don’t do that to Artoo.
Funniest moment of all was Justin showing old Tone a very rare Top Trumps card featuring an enhanced image of Threepee-o. It seems that a malicious graphic artist had endowed the golden one with an appendage of humungous eye-watering length. Any normal person would have laughed nay chortled at such ribald naughtiness. But not our Tony. He articulated at length how unfunny he found it as he considered C3PO to be a very dear friend to whom he felt a good deal of unswerving loyalty towards. Tosser. He finished by pointing out (in case we hadn’t yet sussed it) that “Of course, I don’t have a wonderful sense of humour...” Really? You don’t say.
What could Justin do but wave the offending card beneath Tony’s nose one more time and make the inevitable comment “Anthony, I’ve looked at this long and hard...”
Needless to say Anthony Daniels chose not to attend the reunion. Who needs a protocol droid that doesn’t understand common courtesy anyway?