The Snowspeeder is finished. This build really took me back… a long time ago.
After having witnessed the awe inspiring spectacle of Star Wars as a 10-year-old, my anticipation of what The Empire Strikes Back would have in store at 13 years of age was simply off the chart. I’d seen the previews, of course, which were exciting but so frustratingly vague. (By design, of course…)
To make matters worse, I could not go to the movie when it was released. I wasn’t the best student, and that school year – 7th grade – had not been a good one for me. Mainly because I didn’t like doing homework. Or studying. So my parents weren’t very open to the idea of me heading off to the movies.
When summer did come, and I managed to squeak by 7th grade, and was thus on target for 8th, I made my annual trip to spend a couple of weeks with my grandmother. Of course, I loved her dearly – still do, though she is long gone – but… Star Wars. It was two weeks of agony, though thankfully comforted by biscuits, fried chicken, and plenty of pies of all varieties. I suppose if one must suffer, it’s best to do so at grandma’s house.
Finally all things lined up, and I was able to see the movie. With a fresh $20 from Grandma, and my mom graciously relenting on my 7th grade adventure, I found myself sitting in the theater, thrilled to the core as John Williams’ classic score exploded onto the screen, timed with the words “Star Wars”. To this day I get a lump in my throat every single time I see that.
Of course, the story that I’d stitched together in my mind from the little bit I’d been exposed to was nothing like reality. I’d been practically living the life of a hermit for over a month, avoiding every mention of the movie I could.
And I did succeed… I went in spoiler free.
Ignore The Popcorn, Just Watch The Movie
What unfolded on the screen astounded me. While the special effects in Star Wars had been good, Empire kicked it up not just in notches, but in spades. While we watch it today and see it as a bit antiquated, at the time it was phenomenal. I am so happy to be in the generation that was able to see those movies as they originally were… the experience was unmatchable.
I left the movie breathless. The special effects, the story, the battles, the spaceships – especially the Snowspeeder, and of course the GIANT FREAKING REVEAL at the end… I couldn’t stop talking about it for days.
I think that experience is a huge part of why I have enjoyed building Bandai’s Snowspeeder so much. The kit is amazing, of course, and so very detailed. If it were simply an model of an scifi thing, it would be great in and of itself.
But to build this with the memories of sitting in that theater in Tallahassee, Florida in the summer of 1980 simply makes in an experience that I don’t know any other model can quite match.
I know it gets a bit repetitive… but build this model. Yes, it’s snap fit. And it’s scifi. I know you may think Bandai is just fluff. Forget all that.
This is a great kit. And if you’ve ever felt moved by the symphonic explosion that follows the words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”, I think you’ll love this kit.
(Be sure and check out the construction and cockpit painting videos too.)
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