I had tried for months to keep my expectations in check, to not expect too much, to protect myself from being disappointed.
I knew there was less danger this time of a repeat of the Phantom Menace experience. After all, J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) was in charge. Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) was back penning the script. Still, I kept myself in check.
Even as I woke up this morning, knowing I was seeing the 10:20 am screening, I tried not to be excited. As I walked into the theater and saw the huge posters of Finn, Rey, and Han Solo hanging from the ceiling, I held back.
The previews that played were for movies I was excited to see, but I couldn’t tell you what movies they were. They went by in a haze. I wasn’t paying attention to them. I was waiting. I was protecting.
Then the Lucas film logo appeared. People cheered. I wanted to cheer. I wanted to scream, “Hell yeah!” Then, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” That familiar font and color. My heart rose in my throat.
Then, boom. Star Wars appeared. John Williams’ epic score filled the room. The yellow crawl began.
As did my tears. For the first 5 minutes of the film, I was crying. I was so grateful to be back in that universe. I was a kid again, experiencing an adventure in a mythos that grabbed my imagination when I was in elementary school and still hasn’t let it go.
I hadn’t realized how much I had missed this world. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed having movie experiences like this. It was wonderful.
The Force Awakens is fantastic.