Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens… And So Does My Heart

Resnik here.

I have found in my sobriety I haven’t really shirked from admitting my faults. I have some difficulties. Not “triggers”. I have anxiety, and PTSD. So, going to the theater is tough.

I needed to see this film, though.

I got to the theater this morning around 10am, and it was sold out of all non-3D showings (I have hardly any sight in my right eye and I’m color blind…), and I almost left. I checked the detailed showing times and saw a Real-3D showing at 10:50. The tickets were nearly the same as the non-3D, so, why not?

Got a couples of bottles of water and a couple boxes of candy, and I took my assigned seat. Front row was all that was available, but, the seats were amazingly comfortable and the reclined to create an effective view of the screen, even at the front bottom seat (dead center, too).

The previews were nothing special, to me. I want to see X-Men: Apocalypse even less than never. I digress.

A young boy and his middle aged father say to my right. He was super excited. It made me smile. A guy about my age (late twenties, early thirties) sat down to my left. He had no candy and no drink. I knew this was a long film, so I gave him my nestle bunchacrunch, and one of my waters. He was elated and humbly accepted.

This made for a fantastic feeling.

Then the film began. The initial classic intro and story rolled. I began to cry. That warm feeling of being embraced by an old and familiar friend washed over me.

We got introduced to more than half a dozen new characters.

Kylo Ren (and his BAD temper), the new strong arm and force-user of the darkside of the force. His presence is felt in every scene he is in, and he does not fail to give you reason to recognize him as a threat.

Poe Dameron. This guy steals his scenes! Charismatic and charming, with a fondness for doing good. This pilot doesn’t have the most screen time, but when he is there, he is easily likable, and eager to prove what side is obviously is on.

Rey. She’s cute, and strong. She is an asset to strong women in films. She grows in a reasonable pace. She shows that women aren’t always damsels in distress. Rey is a character to be embraced and celebrated. Her story is subtle and strong. Her connections to the legacy characters is flawless.

Supreme Leader Snoke. Not much to say. The small screen time he is present is so powerful and important. He cannot be ignored.

Maz Kanata. She is wise and entertaining, and the voice actor who portrays her bears no resemblance to the odd alien body. We won’t be forgetting about her.

Hux. General Hux. Evil dude. He represents the leadership of the new order in a very direct manner. A strong personality, and a direct conflict for the good guys. He is the military leader no one wants their enemy to have. He is tenacious and wants to win by any means.

Finn. A quirky and likable character, despite his flaws. He has a strong drive and, though a bit soft in the honesty department at times, is a remarkably brave, loyal, moral, young man. He grows with every character interaction. He is a bright and brilliant role, and will continue to be in the rest of the trilogy.

Captain Phasma. Not much to say here either. We don’t get to know much of her, but we can tell from her scenes, she is a strict and powerful leader, who has respect and fear from her peers and subordinates. 

Those are some of the new faces. Much of the old guard returns, with only a few loved faces missing (*cough*BillyDeeWilliams*cough*).

I won’t give the list. That would spoil the joy.

More about the film itself:

The story progresses in a fast pace. The action is never missing.

In the exposition scenes, there is humor and drama.

There are romantic, loving scenes, without distracting from the main story. The classic soundtrack fits like a glove.

The CGI and costumes are well done. It’s not cheesy and it certainly isn’t overwhelming.

The actors really do appear to be interacting with what you see before you on the screen.

The dialog never misses a beat. It makes the character interactions come to life.

To me, this is the best Star Wars film, to date.

I cried a lot. From pain and joy.

You see, my father and I watched Star Wars together quite a bit in my childhood. This film reminded me of the films he loved. He passed away at the end of May, 2012. He would have loved this film. I know I did.

Dad, I know you will never read this, but we had a great time seeing it together, because your memory lives on with me.