I got to thinking the other day about how much older people looked when I was younger. I think they just didn’t take care of themselves as well. People used to smoke and drink more. Cigarette smoke will just turn your skin into boot leather after a while. Exposure to the sun too, without sunscreen, ages you to look like a Las Vegas Blackjack dealer pretty quickly.
I thought of this when I was thinking back on Star Wars.
But first, lets look at some positives.
I have all of my teeth. Only one cavity in my adult life. I’m a little doughy, but with this lockdown, I think that is to be expected. I can still camp and make fire and hike for miles. I am hopeful for the future. I am pretty good with words. My hair stopped falling out in 2014. My hairline has reached an Armistice with Time. I make minimal old man sounds when sitting up or standing.
In 1983, when Luke Skywalker removed Darth Vader’s mask as he lay dying on the Second Death Star, Anakin Skywalker would have been my age. Right around 45.
I always thought he was some old man. Maybe even looking more like those guys in the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars than a human. 8 year old me, just thought he looked like shit. I think my reaction after several viewings later on was “Dang, he’s old.”
So, I’m Darth Vader old.
According to the IMDB for Return of the Jedi, Sebastian Shaw was 78 when the movie was made. Which is yet another argument for George Lucas screwing up the entire franchise. Ewan McGregor is nearly 50 and he still looks great. He would have been 13 years younger than Alec Guinness in the same role when he played Obi-wan in 1977.
So, maybe I’m holding up better than I thought.
In the featured pic, that is me with my grandpa. He would have been my age right about now.