Unless you have been living under a seriously huge, life-crushing rock for the past few months, you are well aware that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opened in theaters yesterday (Friday). The build up to this movie has been unlike anything I have ever seen and the film is already (writing this on Saturday, the day after the official opening) on track to break every box office record in the books. Star Wars fans, to me, are the first generation of the fandoms, which are now so popular everyone seems to belong to at least one (Disney! Harry Potter! Hunger Games! Doctor Who! The Walking Dead!…I only like the first three, but you know what I mean) and they laid the ground work for how it should be done. Fans were camped out for weeks before opening day, showed up in costume, got tattoos, and even threw opening day weddings to show their solidarity to their fandom. Some of that is a little cray cray, but Star Wars is one of those pop culture phenomenons that just can’t replicated.
I was never a huge Star Wars fan as a kid (and not because I’m a girl and I wasn’t “allowed” to be), they just weren’t my thing. My brother, however, loved Episodes IV, V, and VI and so I saw them all frequently, though usually in small pieces. I also LOVED Star Tours as a kid, it was my one must ride when we visited the park. When Episodes I, II, and III came out, I saw them in the theaters, mostly because I had friends who were interested, but I never saw them more than once (I actually saw Episode III at the Hollywood Cinerama Dome, where my mom saw Episode IV back in the day). My husband is a big fan, but we had never actually watched any of them together until this past week when we decided to watch one of the movies each of the six nights leading up to Friday so that we were refreshed on the story and ready to go for Episode VII.
I freaking loved every second of watching those six movies. Alright, part of that is that it is rare for the hubs and I to spend that much dedicated time together during the week (which is sad, but life tends to get in the way) and that was awesome. But I also really enjoyed watching all six movies as one continuous story. Clearly Episodes I, II, and III do not have the same magic as Episodes IV, V, and VI (though II is the only one I would really consider a “bad” movie), but when you watch them all together, everything makes a lot more sense. To me, part of the beauty of the series is that they are not perfect films–plot holes, cheesy dialogue, sub par acting can be found in ALL the films. The beauty part is in how much we love them anyway, not despite the flaws, but because of them. That’s what makes them so awesome.
When it came time to head to the theater on Friday for Episode VII, I was pumped. I was rocking my BB-8 brooch and ready to love every second of the seventh installment. And I totally did. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil anything for you…in fact, that’s another thing I totally loved about this whole experience, I follow HUNDREDS of Disney people on social media, many of whom saw the film early, and I did not see a SINGLE spoiler.) I love the new characters, I love the old characters, I am now obsessed with BB-8 and Rey. I LOVED IT. I expected to like it, I expected it to be good, I expected it to be entertaining. I didn’t know I would leave the theater a member of the Star Wars fandom. But I did. And a lot of it was because of Episode VII, but even more of it was the entire series as a whole, all seven films, all together. I will 100% be seeing The Force Awakens in the theater again, quite possibly more than once. And my husband should be concerned about how much BB-8 merch I will be purchasing over the next couple of months. All of the sudden, I can’t wait until Squirt is old enough to watch the films with us (the real dilemma is going to be deciding which order he should watch them in). I’m already planning his Star Wars themed birthday party, and Star Wars themed room decor. And hello opening day of Star Wars Land, I will now be there with bells on. Seriously guys, I am usually one of those people who scoffs at bandwagon fans, even picking the opposite of the cool, popular choice just to be a brat, but I can’t even pretend to hate Star Wars.
My name is Falon, I drank the Star Wars Kool Aid and I ain’t even mad.