A New Hope, al­ways

As a child, David John­ston was dev­as­tated to learn Darth Vader was Luke Sky­walker’s dad


TRURO, N.S. – Dressed in a Darth Vader out­fit, David John­ston sat down to watch The Rise of Sky­walker on its open­ing night in Hal­i­fax.

Half­way around the world, John­ston’s brother ar­rived at a cin­ema in Ja­pan, dressed also as Darth Vader. His sis­ter in Toronto came dressed as out­cast alien Jar Jar Binks for her own Star Wars trib­ute.

“I’m very lucky,” said John­ston in Truro on Dec. 20. “It felt like con­nect­ing with the fam­ily through the Force, watch­ing it all the way around the world to­gether.”

John­ston didn’t want to give the sto­ry­line away but de­scribed The Rise of Sky­walker as “drip­ping with nos­tal­gia.”

“There is a kiss that gets every­body cheer­ing, I won’t say any­thing more than that,” said John­ston.

But as a prac­tis­ing ma­gi­cian, John­ston ap­pre­ci­ated the magic be­hind all Star Wars movies and has done so since he was lit­tle.

In­deed, John­ston has an unopened Darth Vader toy from 1977, which he keeps as a me­mento from his child­hood.

John­ston re­mem­bered feel­ing so dis­traught when he learned Darth Vader was Luke Sky­walker’s fa­ther, his mother had to com­fort him. He made this dis­cov­ery after watch­ing The Em­pire Strikes Back as a child in 1980.

“It had such a huge ef­fect on me and so many other peo­ple,” said John­ston. “Star Wars is a re­minder that when you’re a child, things re­ally in­flu­ence you and I carry that with me in my ca­reer as a ma­gi­cian.”

As an adult, the magic came true for John­ston when he met ac­tor Mark Hamill, who plays both Luke Sky­walker and The Joker.

He learned Hamill wanted to be a ma­gi­cian when he was grow­ing up, but chose act­ing in­stead as it was eas­ier. John­ston told Hamill The Joker in­spired his stage name of "Mr. J."

“We ac­tu­ally had a fun and lively talk, which hope­fully was dif­fer­ent enough to brighten his day,” said John­ston. “He even called me 'Mr. J' when meet­ing him, for a third time a day later. My girl­friend was amazed.”

While John­ston did not talk Star Wars with Hamill, he has al­ways kept the film’s sub­tler mes­sag­ing on na­ture and the en­vi­ron­ment close to heart.

He said the en­vi­ron­men­tal as­pect is ex­pressed by cer­tain char­ac­ters, such as Yoda on a swamp planet and the Ewoks, who live in a for­est world.

“Star Wars shows na­ture tri­umph­ing over ma­chines,” said John­ston. “The Em­pire is very me­chan­i­cal. It’s or­der. It’s con­form­ity. It’s ster­ile, whereas the Jedis’ plan­ets are all sur­rounded by plants. It’s all forests, med­i­ta­tion and na­ture.”


David John­ston saw the very first Star Wars movie in 1977 and even has a spare Darth Vader toy from the time.


David John­ston even met Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Sky­walker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.