Yesterday, a day unlike any other, we waited on baited breath for the fulfillment of an unspoken promise made in our hearts thirty two years ago. A promise burned into our collective souls the moment the iconic theme played versus an iris wipe, the Star Wars trilogy’s signature transition to its ending credits. Enter, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
There was a definite sense of finality to Return of the Jedi even for us younger viewers. The Empire was defeated, The Emperor was thrown into a conveniently placed bottomless shaft in his throne room, Darth Vader redeemed himself protecting Luke from The Emperor, all celebrated by dancing warrior bears known as Ewoks. All the signs were there.
The word was that the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, made mention of six more Star Wars movies. Three prequels explaining the relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Followed by three sequels to the original trilogy.
It would take over a decade for George Lucas to deliver the prequel trilogy to us. For the duration of that lull we were treated to plethora of novels, comics, and video games shedding light on the Star Wars universe and telling stories beyond the original trilogy. The Expanded Universe was created. Satisfying our hunger for more Star Wars until the prequel trilogy arrives.
As promised the prequel trilogy arrived, unfortunately it was to mixed reviews. For some older fans, Episode One, Two, and Three were a tonal departure. For many of us, it felt as if it were made for different generation. So while many of us may have enjoyed the prequels; on some level a lot of us felt left out. They didn’t feel like our Star Wars.
The shoe dropped. After fan outrage and heavy criticism George Lucas announced that he will not be making episodes Seven, Eight, and Nine. He later cited fan outrage as the primary reason. With the mind behind Star Wars uninterested in pursuing more films, it seemed all hope was lost.
Fall 2012, the other shoe dropped. And we had no idea we were even waiting for it. Disney had purchased Star Wars from George Lucas and were intent upon producing a new Star Wars Trilogy. The prospect of new Star Wars movies was somewhat exciting but it hadn’t truly sank in yet. And it wouldn’t for a while.
With tons of announcements including a title (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), J.J. Abrams as the director, the original cast returning, and cast photos from the table read; for some of us including myself it hadn’t resonated yet.
The first trailer eventually dropped. It was very exciting. Great special effects, very cool shots of Stormtroopers on a transport. It had all the components of a Star Wars we hadn’t seen before. It looked beyond cool. But it didn’t hit me until the second trailer.
The moment I saw Han and Chewie on the Millennium Falcon set and heard Harrison Ford’s graveled voice deliver the line that would pull my heart into this new Star Wars “Chewie, we’re home.” The continuation of our Star Wars and the fulfillment of the promise that the Star Wars universe would continue onward. Forging ahead with new stories, characters, and hopefully shhow us things that we never imagined possible. A tall order indeed, but with a visionary director like J.J. Abrams at the helm; this reinvigorated Star Wars franchise is already off to an amazing start.
May the Force be with you, always.