Roads Not Taken: My Emotional Journey Through “The Force Awakens”

After seeing Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens almost a week ago (I was at the Chicago press screening) it’s taken me this long to process it. When the movie ended, I sat in my chair and felt conflicted. I felt like the kid who had opened all his Christmas gifts but didn’t quite get what he wanted.

Like many Star Wars fans, I’d been waiting for this installment of the Skywalker Saga for decades.  Sure, the Prequels were fine but I wanted to know what happened in that galaxy far, far away in the post-“Return of the Jedi” years.

And when you look at the marketing campaign that the folks at Lucasfilm/Disney put together, it was obvious that Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams knew what buttons they wanted to push, and what audience they were trying to reach. They wanted to reach the fans of the Classic Trilogy, the ones who grew up with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and the rest of those iconic characters. In short, a fan like ME.

So why did I have such conflicting emotions once the credits started rolling? Why was I not flush with joy as my fellow Star Wars fans who left the theater with me? Why is there a contingent of “fans” who are declaring their hatred for the film? And finally, how do I feel now that I’ve taken the time to sort out my feelings about the film and have seen it a second time? Here’s my 2 cents (or Republic credits if you’re not in the Outer Rim) WARNING – SPOILER TERRITORY AHEAD!:

Read more after the jump!

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Who won San Diego Comic-Con 2015? Talking about The Force Awakens, Batman V Superman and Grumpy Cat!

On the latest Geek/Countergeek, Keith Conrad and I discuss what went down at San Diego Comic-Con; how Bryan Cranston dropped the mic on a fan; what J.J. Abrams revealed about “The Force Awakens”; and what our reaction was to the new “Batman V Superman” trailer:

The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer: 88 seconds of Star Wars glory!

Don’t mind me, I’m just gonna watch this on continuous loops for the rest of the holiday weekend. Somebody bring me food?

So much to digest here, but what I appreciated the most was the focus on the future of Star Wars – in John Boyega and Daisy Ridley – with a nod to the past in the Millennium Falcon.

I get goosebumps every time that score hits!

“What a hunk a junk!” J.J. Abrams gives us a look at the Millenium Falcon

As production continues on Episode VII, so do the playful shots between director J.J. Abrams and Superman V. Batman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder.

This one just gave me chills:

Seeing the Millennium Falcon, so up close and personal, just brought out the little kid in me.  Oh how I’ve longed to walk aboard that legendary space freighter, to sit in the co-pilot seat and play “dejarik” (holo chess) against her wookiee first mate.

Oh yeah, is it me or do the themes from Star Wars and The Dark Knight mesh better than expected?