Yeah, so Star Wars came out a little while ago, and I finally got around to seeing it. Yes, it was only a week, with with all the hype and all the talk, it feels like I waited an eternity to see the thing. Needless to say, this was a Very Big Deal. But you knew that.
Frankly, that degree of hype is dangerous for anything, be it movie, television show, book, what have you. The greater the hype, the harder it is to avoid crushing disappointment. Even a good, or fantastic, or great movie can feel like a letdown if it doesn't reach the lofty goals expected of it. A friend of mine experienced that with Dark City. It didn't live up to what he was expecting, so we walked out of the theater with him feeling disappointed, even though it's an excellent movie. It truly is. You should go watch it, actually. Get the Director's Cut if you can. That doesn't have an opening voice-over full of titanic spoilers.
But, back on topic. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (henceforth TFA) actually manages to live up to its hype. And yes, I was hyped and looking forward to this. I was six when Return of the Jedi came out, and I have vivid memories of seeing it in the theater. Sure, it was the worst of the originals, but that's still going to have a huge impact to the mind and imagination of a six year old. Unsurprisingly, I became a huge Star Wars fan, and have remained a fan, even as I've grown old, bitter, and curmudgeonly.
That magic hope was still there when I spent two hours standing in the middle of a line-turned-mob as we waited for the re-release of A New Hope in 1997. That opening fanfare and text crawl sent a chill down my spine as I watched A New Hope on the big screen like it was meant to be. Sadly, the Special Edition was mostly just a bunch of worthless trash added to clutter a perfectly fine movie, but you take the memories you can get. It didn't quite reach the hype, but as a link to something I couldn't have witnessed, it was still magical. Not magical enough to wait in line forever for the Empire or Return re-release, but I still saw them in the theater.
Skip ahead a bit more and we have Phantom Menace. Again, my hopes were up. How could they not be? New Star Wars! And the trailers looked great! And... well... we know how that turned out.
So I waited a week for TFA. Now I kind of wish I hadn't. It was really that good. From the opening text crawl to the end. This is how you make a new Star Wars film, George. This is everything the prequels should have been. George Lucas may have invented Star Wars, but JJ Abrams clearly understands what it means to the fans more than Lucas does.
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