Following our interview with Dale Lloyd of Viva VHS, Alice Rush looks back at her VHS memories…
Let’s face it, everyone loves a special edition box set. Everyone (should) love Star Wars. Put the two together and you get my very first VHS: The special edition gold Darth Vader VHS boxset.
You simply cannot get cooler than that. As a young child, when my Dad brought home that box set me and my brother simply could not contain our excitement and we forced everyone in our house to sit down that night and watch all three films of the legendary saga back to back. Needless to say we made it halfway through The Empire Strikes Back and fell asleep, but because it was a beloved VHS we put it straight back in the machine the next night and there it was, waiting for us exactly as we had left it.
I’ll never forget sitting down with all of my family in front of the TV in our darkened living room and the room being illuminated bright blue as up came on the screen “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”.
The box set itself was just absolutely gorgeous, all black and gold with a daunting portrait of Vader on the side and each tape had its own gold cardboard case that made you feel like you were handling precious lumps of priceless value. It definitely instilled in me a love for everything science fiction, and indeed everything filmic.
Not only was Star Wars one of the largest influences on me as a kid, but videos were something so tangible and lovingly clunky that you couldn’t help but hold your favourite tapes to your chest, or bend the box so you could get the paper sleeve out and have a good hard look at it.
It’s a shame in this digital download era that you do miss out on that thrill of putting in a new VHS for the first time or rewinding it straight after you’ve finished it. My Star Wars box set is definitely something I intend to hold on to for as long as I can, because it’s not just a VHS, it’s a piece of family memorabilia.