Somebody mentioned that there’s some little sci-fi film opening in a week or so.  You may have heard of it.  “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.  OK, I’m being just a wee bit sarcastic but the hype for it hasn’t just been heavyweight, it’s been positively obese – approaching Jabba The Hutt proportions – to the point where, less than a fortnight before the film’s released, I’m already starting to lose interest.

But I know I’m outnumbered by the squillions who are champing at the bit for the arrival of the seventh instalment in the saga.  They’ve had a long wait, as the last one was in 2005 (“The Revenge Of The Sith”), and there’s also a new director to contend with, one J J Abrams (detractors have already named him Jar Jar Abrams: Binks of the same initials doesn’t appear in the film).

Which means that everybody is going to be talking Star Wars – everybody, that is, except for those who’ve never understood what all the fuss is about.  Perhaps, to coin the title of a certain radio show, they’ve Never Seen Star Wars.  But there is a way for them to make sure The Force is with them in pro-Star Wars company.

Mark Clark’s “Star Wars FAQ” isn’t intended to be a bluffer’s guide.  It bills itself as “everything left to know about the trilogy that changed the movies” and is rammed with so much detail, from quotes to parodies, to gaffes, awards and the post-Star Wars careers of the stars, that a fan would feel they were in seventh heaven, let alone a galaxy far, far away.  And it’s heaven’s sent for novices as well, full of juicy little nuggets to quote and make it sound like you’re not just familiar with the saga, but a bona fide fan.

Try these:

  • In the original “Star Wars”, Han Solo and Chewbacca have rescued Princess Leia and find themselves running towards a squad of stormtroopers. They turn and run away – and the rubber soles of Peter Mayhew’s (Chewie) shoes are there for all to see. He obviously became very fond of those sneakers as the same thing happens in the escape from Cloud City in “The Empire Strikes Back”.
  • Like other famous films, Star Wars has a mis-quoted phrase that’s gone down in cinematic history. Bogart never said “Play it again, Sam” in Casablanca and Darth Vadar never said “Luke, I am your father,” in The Empire Strikes Back or, indeed, anywhere else.  The Casablanca line came from Ingrid Bergman, “Play it, Sam.  Play As Time Goes By.”  Vader did own up to being Skywalker’s father, but here’s how the conversation goes.

Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.

Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!

Vader: No.  I am your father.

  • No Star Wars actor – not even Harrison Ford! – has appeared in more blockbusters than Warwick Davis. He made his big screen debut as Wicket the Ewok in “Return Of The Jedi” and went on to be in George Lucas’ fantasy “Willow” and have a recurring role in the Harry Potter series.  And, yes, he’s in “The Force Awakens”, alongside returnees Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, as well as newbies Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver.

Need more?  Then delve into Star Wars FAQ – and fool everybody into thinking you know Star Wars back to front.  And may The Force be with you!

Star Wars FAQ is available from high street and online bookstores.