Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away...

By now, two days after the early premiere of the highly-anticipated (to say the least) seventh installment of STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS, most everyone has seen the film. Already it has broken box office records and numerous Internet sites have been posting articles with speculation about the next film, Easter Eggs spotted in Episode VII, plot holes and plenty of unanswered questions, things fans loved, hated, and everything in between. Take note, this isn't a review of the new movie, and no spoilers will be mentioned...but I will say this.

I LOVED this movie. Absolutely loved it, from start to finish. Was it perfect? No. But in my estimation, it didn't need to be. As hinted at from director JJ Abrams, and the trailers teasing us for months, Episode VII was more or less a Star Wars movie made for the fans, but to me, it was more a love letter to those of us who saw the very first film, Episode IV, A NEW HOPE, all those many years ago when we were kids.

This is what my rambling post is about. Capturing that pure sense of wonder and awe back in 1977 when my parents took my brother and I, ages 10 and 11, to a little theater in Ft. Myers Beach because the few theaters in and around Ft. Myers had sold out tickets for STAR WARS. And while it isn't easy to do that when you're in your late 40's, since that first trailer debuted all those months ago, and we got our glimpse of the Millennium Falcon pursued by TIE fighters above the Jakku desert, that sense of wonder and awe came flooding back. I got chills, man.

My first awareness of STAR WARS as a young boy was when my father read a newspaper article about the upcoming new movie that only included one black and white photo of Luke Skywalker in his stormtrooper outfit sans helmet, but needless to say I was intrigued. And this was an era long before the internet and you were lucky to even glimpse a TV trailer, unless you stayed glued to the tube. Naturally, from that first famous opening scene, both my brother and I were entranced and spellbound by the movie magic created by George Lucas. And for the next 3 or 4 Christmases my brother and I always had Star Wars toys at the top of our toy lists, and got much of what we wanted, thanks to Santa and our wonderful parents.

And while Episode VIII is at least two years away, with perhaps the Episode IV prequel, ROGUE ONE, due before then, and rumored several others in the works, there will be plenty of that Star Wars wonder and awe in our future. What makes that even more special is sharing that magic with our children.

Thank you, JJ Abrams and company.

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