The Force Awakens

After48 hours avoiding social media, newspapers, and magazine reviews, we finally got to the cinema last night to watch “Star Wars Episode VII : The Force Awakens”. It’s difficult to put all the thoughts and emotions into words.

I grew up with Star Wars. I was four years old in 1977, so don’tthink I was old enough to see the original movie at the cinema, but I do remember watching it as the “Big Movie” on television at Christmas time. I also remember our family getting a video recorder in the early 1980s, and Star Wars (recorded from the television) being one of the first and most played video cassettes we had.

Ido remember going to the cinema for Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jediand remember the various figures, spaceships and creatures being the bulk of my Christmas and Birthday presents each year. I had two shelves across my bedroom wallwhich often served as a “Landing Bay” for the Millenium Falcon, Slave 1, an X-Wing, the rebel troop transporter, an AT-AT, a Scout Walker, a Snow Speeder, and countless figures.

So yeahlast night was huge for meand I was hoping it would start a similar journey for our children. Miss 15 entered the movie theatre like any other unimpressed teenrolling her eyes, complaining about anything she possibly could, and trying to make us grateful that she was even there. Miss 10 on the other hand was dressed from head to toe as a Jedi, with Luke’s lighsaber hanging from her belt. My other half would have been dressed head to toe as Leia if we had an outfit for her (she once dressed as Han Solo for a school assembly when she was about 9 years old).

I had watched the trailers for Episode VII like everybody else. I had also watched Kevin Smith on YouTube talking about his visit to the set, and about breaking down in tears when he stepped aboard the Millenium Falcon.The Millenium Falcon. I remembered his claim that J J Abrams wasn’t going to let us down.

This morning I still have no real words to string together about the two and a bit hours we spent in the cinema last night. I will recount our eldest daughter on the journey home though;“You know how I said it was going to be rubbish, and I was kind of dreading going?““Yes” (I looked across at my other half, grinning)“Well actually I have to admit it was AMAZING” and then we talked non stop about our favourite moments, and our ideas for the future of the story for the rest of the journey home. We have continued to talk about it all day.

The overriding conversation that we keep coming back to is that “The Force Awakens” is like getting “our” Star Wars backthe Star Wars of our childhood. The exciting, exhilarating, emotional Star Wars that formed the basis of endless imaginative games in the playground at school, or epic staged space battles across the bedroom floor at home.

I wasn’t just The Force that awoke last nightit was the child inside everybody in the movie theatre.