Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Saw this on a Christmas showing.  Theater was packed.  When I walked in, there were three empty seats.  I held three tickets:  Me, my daughter, and my wife (who wasn’t with us–she wasn’t feeling well and stayed home).

I’m not going to give a plot summary here.  I’m not going to discuss the characters, whether Rey is a “Mary Sue” or not.  And I’m certainly not going to give any spoilers.  Instead, I’m going to talk about the emotional effect of the movie.

Let me start by saying that in the days since then, I’ve seen a lot of criticism of “The Force Awakens.” Some valid and some off base. But even the valid stuff? Well…

Back in 1977 I was “that kid”. I took every opportunity to see Star Wars. I had the novelization and read it until it fell apart and was held together by rubber bands. I bought all the toys I could (which wasn’t much–poor. Really really poor.) I got the Marvel comic.

I got together with friends and made “blindfolded kendo” a thing (a wonder we didn’t maim each other). I tried to invent the lightsaber (not laser, I knew that you couldn’t make a laser go out a particular distance and stop, and I also knew that the beam of a laser wasn’t visible unless there was smoke or something to scatter the light to your eye, but I thought maybe an electron beam, “tuned” so that it would reach about a yard before the anode in the handle pulled it back. And two negatively charged “blades” would repel each other so one could block another. Okay, none of the numbers work on that in the real world, but that was still pretty good for a high school freshman).

I was that kid who tried to “anticipate” traffic lights and the other things in an effort to figure out “the Force”.  After all, I figured that short term precognition is probably the “secret” behind being able to block blaster bolts.

Well, when I went to watch The Force Awakens, all the movie’s flaws aside, for two hours I was that kid again.

And I don’t think you can get higher praise than that,.

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