Disclaimer: There are no spoilers here. Daniel referenced an event from the trailer, but if you have not seen the trailer you probably didn’t mean to click on this. There are a lot of assholes out there who want to spoil this movie for you. The world is full of douchebags. However, we at Comcastro are not douchebags. No spoilers. Unless you count us telling you how the Sarlacc grew legs and it now hunting down Han to get revenge for being shot in the tentacle. The Sarlacc just wanted to eat Lando because he tastes like Colt 45… every time.
I remember where I was when I heard Disney had bought LucasFilm. I was at work and I bounced down the hallway saying “Disney is gonna make Star Wars and it is gonna be great.” Since that day I have swapped jobs a few times, torn my achilles, had my heart ripped out of my chest, won two Ultimate leagues, started a masters program, joined a choir… the point is a lot of stuff has happened since that day. On December 17th, years of anticipation finally culminated with a 2 hour explosion of amazingness.
I bounced around all day. I wore a Yoda onesie to work. I had never been so hyped for a movie. We took our seats about 40 minutes before the movie was slated to begin. We saw trailers for the Jungle Book (Bill Murray is going to play Balu. How awesome is that?) The latest X-Men: Apocalypse trailer made me giddy. Independence Day 2 is happening and so is Kung Fu Panda 3. We saw that awesome Batman v Superman trailer again. But this was all just a warmup, an appetizer for that one sentence that I have longed to see.
The screen went black and the LucasFilm logo emerged and everyone clapped. I guess I should point out that we were at a Regal VIP theater where you have to be 21 to get in, so there were no kids, no crying babies and no casual fans. This theater was full of people who understood what was happening. The applause died down as if everyone knew what was going to happen next…
After all the months of getting excited, after being at full throttle for a solid week getting ready for this… this was like an oncoming tidal wave. It was like I was being set on a tee and Happy Gilmore was about to lay into me. The theater was silent for that moment. It was the kind of silence that only a mute Amish child could ever know. It was like everyone was carefully reading those words. We have all seen these words many times before, but they are important. It means “check out what happened in this far away futuristic space-past” and when we see those words, we know what is coming next.
I’m struggling with words to describe the feeling of seeing this. “STAR WARS” appeared and began fading into the backdrop. This was different than before. The first time I saw any of the original trilogy I saw them on a TV. That’s because Return of the Jedi came out 2 years before I was born. And the prequels… I think the magnitude of a Star Wars film was lost on me because I was still in middle school at the time. But even if I had understood what was happening back in 1999, the prequels were, well, prequels. We knew where they had to go eventually. We knew that, no matter how Lucas got us there, Obi-Wan had to meet Anakin, Yoda would be involved and, eventually, Obi-Wan would have to defeat Anakin when he became Darth Vader. For me, the prequels were kind of like “alright, let’s see how this journey goes, because we know the general destination already,” especially Episode 3. We knew how that one had to end, which was kind of depressing because we thought that would be the last time we ever saw a Star Wars film for the first time and we already knew the ending. But this, Episode 7, was different. As the logo faded back and the John Williams fanfare played, I felt like I was going to explode. It was like someone had killed my Krillin and I was going super saiyan. And then came the crawl…
I like to read. There is something special about seeing the written word. I’ve read a lot of books but I don’t know that I have ever had the kind of anticipation that I had for these few paragraphs. Here it was, the stuff that has happened since Return of the Jedi. Things had gone down, shit had hit the galactic fan. Stuff needed to be fixed. You know, Star Wars.
It wasn’t my Dad’s Star Wars, but it kind of was. New characters were introduced. There wasn’t rampant use of CGI. There was not a ton of time put into explaining anything from the past movies, because this is a Star Wars movie and they know that we should have seen the other 6 already. Plus, to quote my favorite muppet, we got to see some “old friends long gone.” It was like J.J. Abrams jacked directly into my childhood and started tugging on my heart strings. Everyone should have seen the trailer already, so this doesn’t count as a spoiler: When Han said “Chewie, we’re home” I felt like I was home again, sitting on the cold, hardwood floor in my childhood room watching this on a VCR.
I’m critical of movies. I typically find shortcomings and blow them out of proportion. Normally, when a movie has a massive amount of hype, it can never live up to the expectation. Jurassic World came close. So did the Avengers. I’m sure Batman v Superman won’t be able to live up to the expectations in my mind. Deadpool probably will because, well, Deadpool. But this movie, this masterpiece, J.J. and company knocked it out of the park. This movie is basically a bottomless budget fan-film. It was made by Star Wars fans, for Star Wars fans, possibly starring Star Wars fans. J.J. is done with Star Wars though. Rain Johnson, the guy who wrote and directed Looper, is writing and directing Episodes 8 and 9. Like any Star Wars fan, I am super jealous. BUT…I also kind of pity him because J.J. has set the bar incredibly high. Good luck Rain, I can’t wait to see what comes next in May of 2017.