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THE FORCE RE-AWAKENS, or Why I’m Willing To Give STAR WARS Another Chance

By Elizabeth Weitz

“Chewie, we’re home”

Three words…just three words. By themselves they mean virtually nothing, but together, well, it brought a generation to tears. And we weren’t ready for it, not in the least. We had been so disappointed by everything that came before the words.

And why wouldn’t we?

We were the ones who had sat in the theater as kids and were paralyzed from awe by what we saw on screen. We slept in a bed covered in Death Stars and Darth Vaders and Luke Skywalkers and Princess Leias and…well, you get the idea. Every sequel that came after that brought us closer to nirvana until…

You know.

People may mock the devastation that we felt sitting through the first prequel but it was real.

Oh god, was it real. ‘

Hell, you could taste it in your mouth, coppery, like blood and metal, and we sat in front of that monstrous screen, paralyzed like in our youth, only this time it was from a heavy dark sadness that filled our limbs with sand, forcing us to watch everything until the credits rolled and then all that heaviness emptied out of us.

And we stayed emptied.

But still we went to the other prequels hoping, hoping, hoping that the first one was a fluke, it had to be didn’t it?

It wasn’t.

And our emptiness expanded.

You have to understand something. We were already raw by the time the first prequel came out. We had just sat through the Special Editions at the theater re-release a couple of years earlier and saw things we couldn’t unsee (Greedo shooting first and Han’s weird head movement to name the most egregious) and then later, for the DVD release, after the prequels, when we thought we were safe….that our childhood was safe, there was the unforgivable moment when Sebastian Shaw’s ghost was replaced by Hayden Christensen and my generation lost its collective mind.

 It couldn’t get any worse.

Then, news came that more Star Wars movies were being made, but by then we didn’t have much faith in the force anymore, we were dulled by the announcement, unfeeling and cold to it.

Then those three little words….more powerful to a generation than “I love you”.

If you ever wanted to know what hope really looks like, all you had to do was look at Twitter or Facebook after the second Star Wars trailer dropped. It was if the prequels never happened.

Are we setting ourselves up for another epic fall?

There’s a good chance that we are. You can’t be hurt as bad as we were and not be skeptical but still, there’s a spark inside of us that says…”Maybe”.

But perhaps that’s what it means to love something, a willingness to allow ourselves to be crushed by potential disappointment…again.

Because for just an instant we were home, standing next to an old friend, and it felt exactly right. 

Let’s watch it one more time together.

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