My biggest fear from the acquisition of the Star Wars franchise by Disney in 2012 was that I would never feel the same magic that I did watching the original trilogy- mainly because George Lucas was no longer at the helm driving the characters, the story.. no.. the entire SW universe.
Then it hit me. The SW universe has already changed. When the prequels were announced we speculated about just how awesome the movie would be- how awesome it would be to finally find out the OFFICIAL story behind the clone wars that was only mentioned in passing in A New Hope- how incredibly mind altering it would be to see Kenobi in his prime.
Then I saw the movie. And saw it again just to make sure I saw what i just saw. It was at that point that I realized that there was just no way that I could ever go back to the ever feeling whatever magic it was that came with the original trilogy.
Darth Maul was cool. Young Ben was OK.
Let’s not talk about Jar Jar.
But the 2nd of the prequels came out, and had more Jar Jar- and more disappointment.
As did the 3rd.
So like tons of other SW fans, I felt let down.
So the reality of a new Star Wars movie that will also suck was entirely possible. And it left me initially worried even more.
That is, until it was revealed that JJ Abrams was taking the helm.
So fast forward to seeing this image.
And factor in that this guy who made Lost, Alias, Fringe and remade Star Trek was writing this new Star Wars movie together with Larry Kasdan who wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back.
So in the months leading to the release of the movie. I was feeling pretty good. There were some fears- like what if the cast can’t deliver- or that the thing is just a lens flare frenzy of special effects.
Then the movie came out.
I was in some local theater an hour ahead of the showing. Anxious.
The movie started. the roll for TFA began…
Luke Skywalker has vanished…
I felt like I was back to 1980 – I was young- and obsessed with Star Wars action figures, had a star wars lunch box, bed sheets, etc. The Empire Strikes Back was playing at the Landmark Loews Theater in Jersey City. There were tons of fans in line but my dad not only braved it- he got me the souvenir program
and special edition comic. And if you know my dad, he is not a big fan of frivolous spending so it was an insane treat!
I was too young to fully appreciate A New Hope when it first came out but when Empire came out, I was ready. Loaded with the mythology, and an insatiable desire for everything the SW universe could offer, and a crap ton of action figures… I watched Empire – almost without blinking it seemed– and felt the magic of the myth- like first reading about King Arthur or Robin Hood or learning about Nobunaga – it literally felt EPIC.
So back to 2015. and there were moments in that movie that just brought me back to just how I felt about Empire. I was awestruck. I met the new characters, saw the parallels with A New Hope, and was left hungry for more.
So I watched it again.
and again with my wife.
and again with my daughter.
and a few more times for good measure.
In the end JJ Abrams, together with a great cast (and adorable new droid) delivered a new hope- that the SW franchise is finally back.
The opening line of the movie had Lor San Tekka- a character who dates back to the clone wars say
This will begin to make things right.
I believe it did.