I am grateful to have gotten a unique experience this morning to view the greatly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Even though I knew this was a press screening, I fully expected to see guys in full garb, light sabers, etc. but was surprised to see none of that. In fact, as a 35 year old, I was probably the youngest one in the audience! The movie was very good, and despite recent releases in the last few years which were actually prequels, the world has been dying to see what happens chronologically after The Return of the Jedi left off. 

There were some gaps to fill us in on, but most of the movie was character development of newer characters that will have a vital role in the continuation of the success of The Resistance (aka the good guys). There were some questions unanswered, and some hints and teases to other theories and characters that will keep the hardcore fanbase guessing and arguing until the next release no doubt. There was a lot of skepticism about how Disney would take on such an iconic franchise from LucasFilms and if they would do it justice. The verdict is in, they did! Disney ended the movie with the audience wanting more. In fact, it was quite a critical part of the story where the next sequel will pick up. The effects were good, without overuse of CGI, and as always, a great sense of scale and size was conveyed. You felt yourself getting to know--wanting to know these characters. At the same time, there was a longing to find out more about the lives of the ones we have grown to love over the last 20 years or so since everybody was together.

 This was a great experience for me because this franchise was a part of my childhood, same for the rest of the audience. When the classic opening words started with the Star Wars Theme song, you could hear stifled emotions of excitement, but with the intention of keeping cool in front of everybody else. I will definitely see this again, and my only disappointment was that I couldn't see this for the first time in IMAX!

By: Ryan Smith


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