Oh, where to begin with Star Wars? In our quest to reminisce on the blog, we’ve issued this challenge to each other to talk about The Force Awakens, and I’ll do that. But let me first share a few of my own original Star Wars memories:
- I saw A New Hope in the theater, but have no recollection of doing so. I don’t know how something so influential on me is not in my memory banks. But I remember vividly all the storybooks I collected, and how I listened to the audiotape – abridged – over and over in the car when driving with my parents. Which explains why I can quote by heart so much – but not all – of the dialogue to this movie. I know by heart only the part I memorized when I was nine years old.
- I avidly waited in line early to get my ticket for The Empire Strikes Back. This was back in the day when you simply got to the theater the same day as your viewing, just early. Rather than tenting it for days or ordering online at midnight months ahead. I miss those days.
- I still have a crush on Mark Hamill. Deal with it.
- I never had the hots for Harrison Ford and I still don’t. Deal with it.
- Star Wars is probably responsible for my duel and fight choreography fetish. I blame George, the bastard. (Just kidding.)
- I didn’t hate the prequels but didn’t love them either. Some parts are so well done, though, that I hate the poor parts all the much more. Love-hate. I blame George, the bastard. (Not kidding.)
Okay, all that said… I have been both excited and nervous about seeing The Force Awakens. I knew it would be fun, but would it bring back all my childhood memories? Would it stir my imagination the way A New Hope did? Would it meet my highest hopes and expectations.
I hate to say it. But no. No, it didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate this movie. I had a lot of fun, and it was a good time, even better because I saw it with someone who loves Star Wars too. But I didn’t have the soaring enchantment I experienced with the originals.
Then again, maybe I wasn’t supposed to. After all, I’m no longer a nine-year-old. I come to these movies with a much different mindset because of age and experience. And that’s okay. I’ll see the others as they are made, and I’ll look forward to seeing that perhaps Kylo Ren seems so impotent is that this Snoke guy is training him poorly as a way to screw all the Skywalkers and Solos. I mean, do you trust Snoke to have this kid’s best interests at heart? Why should he?
I look forward to finding out that Rey is either a child of Skywalker or a child of Kenobi, or a child of some stranger because once in a while, some fantastic Force user rises up out of the maddening crowds. Kind of like that kid, what was his name? Anakin? Anyhoo…
I look forward to finding out why the hell there is a difference between the Resistance and the Rebellion, as seems to have been hinted in the opening scrawl, assuming I read it right. And why JJ Abrams thinks you have to capitalize RESISTANCE and REBELLION in the scrawl, as though we can’t read… But that’s another story…
Still, I really think the biggest takeaway from this movie is not the storytelling, the price Disney paid for the franchise, the need to redeem the prequels, or Jar Jar, or Carrie Fisher aging and not giving a sh*t about what you think about that, or anything other than this…
The Force has awakened for a new generation. A new set of nine-year-olds will get not just a movie their parents loved 35 years ago…but their own movie now.
How cool is that?