“I’ve put off writing this. I knew I had a couple days until my next semi-arbitrary due date, so I wanted to take some time to just sort of soak it all in and process things. Was I really leaving the theater on such a high because the movie was that good? Or was it just basking in the glow of the Wars?
I don’t know if I’ve written about it before, but I was in a musical version of the Star Wars trilogy back in MIT. It’s ten year anniversary recently passed, and it was filled with Facebook posts back and forth between various friends who were involved. As part of an MIT and Star Wars thing that was being put together to mark the occassion of the new film, I recently spoke with an alum about the whole experience. It’s been surreal reliving things.
I mostly went thru all that to illustrate that Star Wars is kind of a big deal to me. I maybe do not live and die by the ways of the force, but it’s special to me. Fandom-wise, it’s up there for me with LOTR and Superman. So of course I bought my tickets two months in advance to be there on Thur evening before it opened. I had my hair in pseudo Leia buns all day, and arrived at the screening wearing a Rebel shirt and an Ewok headdress. I was ready.
The pressure was really on for this movie, and not just from me. The disappointment of the prequels hung in the atmosphere anytime this new one was mentioned. I actually don’t despise them as much as other people do, but I understand that kind of heartbreak (ie, Man of Steel or more recently Terminator Genysis). I made a choice to try not to seek out too much advance information. If it came my way via the trailer playing before another movie or thru an Entertainment Weekly article, fine. I really wanted to just experience this film for what it was, with as little expectation as possible.
I think my strategy worked. Watching the film, I was just sort of basking in the glow of the force. I knew the new and returning cast members, but nothing about their characters or the plot. So I really was just living moment to moment, absorbing all the suspense. Some things made me cheer, others laugh, even some tears, but never any groans. That in itself was a win.
I don’t want to go too much into specifics, because I do think the no expectations route was the way to see this, so I’d like to try and preserve that. Also, this is the sort of movie that you don’t straddle the fence about. You either know you’re gonna see it or you’re not. However, one point I do want to get across is that I think what made this all work was the attitude behind the film. It was very clearly made from a place of love and respect. Everything was thought through thoroughly, and all aspects were treated with care, whereas the prequels were kind of self righteous (or at least that’s the word that kept coming back to me). This was very much by fans for fans, and I’m really excited to see where it goes next.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”