Before I get started, please note that this post will NOT contain spoilers of any kind. You’re welcome.
Okay. So I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Instead of seeing the film the night it opened (which was VERY hard not to do), I decided to see it on my birthday. I work an overnight schedule and was surprised to find a showing at 8:30 a.m. When I arrived, it seemed like I wasn’t the only one with that crazy idea. There were more people in the theater than I expected, but, thankfully, it was too early for movie theater bad manners.
Star Wars is a film that I hold very dear to my heart (hence the name). I saw A New Hope when I was a kid the year it came out (yes, I’m old) and I have not forgotten what it felt like to watch Luke, Leia and Han save the Republic from Darth Vader and the Empire. My Mom, who was sick with a stomach virus, took me and my siblings to see the film even though she felt absolutely miserable. We had nagged her and my stepfather for weeks to see the movie and my Mom came through. My stepfather had been stationed in Okinawa and there was no way in Hell three kids were waiting until he came back to see Star Wars.
My Mom told me that on the way to the theater, she almost got sick right there on the sidewalk and wanted to turn around a few times. But she persevered because she didn’t want to disappoint us. When we arrived, the theater was still packed thanks to the newly-minted Star Wars nerds, so we had to sit in the front row. Normally, that row is death for a moviegoer, but when you’re a kid, the closer to the screen, the better. Watching Star Wars for the first time is hard to describe. The film was something unlike anything we had ever seen before. George Lucas introduced moviegoers to the Force, other planets with talking droids, creatures who haggled with humans over money, lightsabers, sand speeders, and the baddest villain in all the galaxies, Darth Vader a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker. When that dude made his way onto the movie screen, I feared, but also wanted to be, Darth Vader. I think it would be safe to say that on that day, I became a Star Wars nerd.
No film has ever been able to replace the original Star Wars films as my all-time favorites (I refuse to acknowledge those abominations that came after). The Lord of the Rings trilogy came damn close, but never surpassed them. So, of course, I was extremely skeptical when I read that another Star Wars film was in the works. I was freaking terrified, if I’m going to be perfectly honest. Then things started to happen that slowly changed my mind: J.J. Abrams would direct; John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) were cast; the Luke-Leia-Han trifecta were also cast. Hold on. This was starting to sound like something great. But I couldn’t, wouldn’t get my hopes up. Then the first teaser trailer was released and the Star Wars nerd in me started to appear. As each trailer, clip and news article started flooding the Internet, the nerd in me became more and more pronounced. The feeling I had when I was a kid started to get bigger and bigger, until I geeked out at pretty much anything Star Wars. When the day finally arrived, it was hard to contain my excitement even though I worked an overnight shift. Who needs sleep?
I have to say, Star Wars: The Force Awakens did not disappoint. The buildup was well worth it and I think J.J. Abrams and the cast did a phenomenal job. The same feelings I had when I saw A New Hope resurfaced while I watched Force Awakens. There were times when I wanted to jump out of my seat and scream, “YEEESSSSSS!!!” But again, it was pretty early in the morning for that so I restrained myself. I loved seeing the new faces, particularly Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. But seeing the OGs was a big treat for me. Was Force Awakens perfect? Nope, but neither was A New Hope. Will I see it again and again? Abso-freaking-lutely. And next time, I WILL jump out of my seat.
What did you think of the film? Let me know in the comments below. And PLEASE, don’t ruin it for others. NO SPOILERS!!