This post will NOT contain any spoilers, so fear not all you Force Awakens non seeing movie type people. I counted myself among you until the Saturday after Christmas when the whole Reese Family made a cinematic pilgrimage to see the film. The world has not seen such a large Reesian Migration to a movie theater in recorded history, and that includes film classics such as Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and the classic Howard the Duck…this thing was THAT big!
So how did Star Wars: The Force Awakens bring about a theater trip for my wife, our daughter, my sister, and my parents all at the same time? Granted, the shear comfort of the theater must play some sort of roll. The recliner seats, the ample leg room, the fact that no one was allowed to talk, all helped to make for a better experience.
No, there was something about the movie itself, or more correctly, the franchise itself. Star Wars is essentially a franchise that borrows heavily from old ideas. Whether it is from the Samurai, Greek mythology, or the Legend of King Arthur, the story just “works,” and always has. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil. It’s a tale of family strife and coming together. It’s a tale of laser guns that go “pew-pew” and laser swords that go “vroom-vroom.” Classic!
Star Wars also touches people at different moments of their lives. My daughter watches the movies (well, except for the prequels because I’m a good father and wouldn’t put her through that) with the same awe and wonder with which I watched them for the first time. My wife watches them because she thinks it’s a pretty cool story and a nice thing to watch for a couple of hours. My sister watches the movie because it was part of her childhood and she can relate to characters she saw growing up. My parents, who would frankly watch a movie about paint drying in order to spend time with our daughter (which is super-sweet), aren’t brought to physical nausea by the story and Mom’s always had a “thing” for Harrison Ford.
I watch it because I’m a dork…it’s sort of what we do.
All fans of the series have their own reasons for watching the Star Wars films ranging from enjoying a good old fashioned nicely told yarn, to being enthralled with the possibility of the future (maybe parts of it, anyway). For the first time since long time ago, in a house far, far away, I’m confident that the new heroes and villains of the Star Wars universe will keep people enthralled and coming back for many years to come.
Now go out and see the movie. I have to go build a pyre so I can get rid of the evil that are the Star Wars Prequels!