I am a huge Star Wars fan. I mean big. Toys, tattoos, games, books, comics, cartoons, costumes, props, films, the whole thing. Three Years ago, my life as a Star Wars fan changed forever. I was watching the story unfold on TV as George Lucas had sold the right for Star Wars to Disney, something I never thought I would ever see. He had such tight control on that empire. He had to sign off on everything. His daughter was writing episodes for Clone Wars. He wrote his whole family into the universe. And there was one other clear thing, he was NOT ever going to do an Episode VII. Ever. OK.
The unthinkable was happening as the story went on. At the same time Disney was announcing the future release of Episode VII under little to no influence from Lucas. I was elated… and scared. Wait. I have over a hundred books and 400 comics that are official canon. The Expanded Universe. What happens to those? What about Han and Leia’s kids, Jacen, Jania, and Anakin. Or Luke’s son, Ben and wife Mara Jade. GASP! Is Boba Fett dead, having never escaped the Sarlacc? So many questions, my head swirled. Needless to say, I spread the word. It was the first thing I said to anybody I saw for weeks. As I followed the developments, I learned the Expanded Universe was being scrapped. NOOOOO! But J.J. Abrams is directing? I’m listening. Dark Horse looses rights to the comics as Disney owned MARVEL will take over. Still listening… And how about we replace Clone Wars cartoon with a more classic trilogy inspired show? AND they get the original cast to sign on. FORD TOO! He hates Star Wars. OK Disney, I trust you completely now.
Years go by. I followed every scrap of info. Each shooting schedule. Each casting call. Each location. The first images come out. Plot details. The plot leaks. The title drops. The first teaser comes out. Character names get released. It was real. It was all coming together, and I was watching it all. I said goodbye to the Expanded Universe and got ready to great the new family members. Finally, it got close. The toys and merch released. Let’s face it, there was no way I was going to not like this. I even liked the prequels, damaged as they were. The lights go down. No 20th Century fanfare, just straight to Lucasfilm logo. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away… Title!… And then the emotions really flew as I saw the first new thing, the words “Episode VII, The Force Awakens.” The next two plus hours were some of the best I’d every spent as a fan. I walked out of Phantom Menace scratching me head. With this, I walked out satisfied. Sure, I have questions. Sure, somethings did not play out as I expected. Sure, I’m going to have to see this thing a few more times.
The next week was spent talking online about it, in between watching it two more time, of course. We talked about the mostly good, and the very few bad. Speculation. Anticipation. Who is related to who? Is this guy really good? Is that person really bad? The film raised more questions that we started out with. Needless to say, I have been over the moon, (That’s no moon!) submerged in my second favorite galaxy. Like it, love it, hate it, be indifferent. Any way, it can not be denied that Star Wars Is bigger than ever. Unlike with the prequels, the weeks following The Force Awakens has been mostly positive. Records are being shattered. And the most unprecedented thing of all, critics like it! Needless to say, we are all on edge waiting to see what happens next. This is a far from 1999 where we just hoped the next one wouldn’t be as disappointing. The force lives strong with us these days. Lets just hope the wave can ride for five more films. With amazing directors lined up and the next two already being made, we are sure to have so much more to talk and obsess about. This sequel marks only the beginning.
May the force be with you…