Unless you’re living under a rock, most people know that today marked the release of the seventh “Star Wars” film: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” I’m not here to talk about it, however, because I don’t have easy access to a theater from the small town I live in. I do plan to see it at some point (through any means necessary), but even with all the hype leading up to it, I’ve found myself not feeling hard-pressed to see it NOW.
Don’t get me wrong – I like the series (though the less said about the prequels the better). I came into it during my mid-teens by renting and watching Episodes 4-6 and thought they were enjoyable. For me, “Star Wars” was a universe I could get into a bit more than something like, say, “Star Trek” (though I’ve made some effort to give some of that franchise a chance lately). A lot of that was thanks to the cool powers of the Force, the fast-paced space battles, and, of course, the awesome lightsaber duels. The characters were memorable (for better or worse) and it was fun to see what planets they’d explore throughout the films. If I had ONE overall gripe about the entire series, it would be that the political aspects never really appealed to me. But that’s a pretty minor nitpick, and in the grand scheme of things, I respect “Star Wars” for partially getting me into sci-fi as a genre. Although, I still regret ever seeing “Attack of the Clones” in theaters. That’s a couple hours I’ll never get back.
Anyway, around my foray into the films, I was also branching out my hobby playing video games. I received a Gamecube one Christmas and it quickly became one of the last systems I owned that I actually rented games for. Sure, I also bought a few, but there was a fun little challenge to renting a game for three or so days and trying to beat it in that time. During this time, I rented and played the “Rogue Squadron” games and had a blast flying around and shooting things in the X-Wing and other ships/vehicles. I recall even before getting my Gamecube that my cousin and I played a few games on older systems like the Nintendo 64 and Playstation (1). We played crap like “The Phantom Menace” tie-in game and decent stuff like “Star Wars Episode 1: Racer.” In recent years, I even played “Lego Star Wars” just to see them break down each movie into the Lego format. I know there have been plenty of good and not-so-good games to come out over the past few years, and I’m hoping to check out some of the good ones when I have the systems for them.
So, as you can see, I like “Star Wars.” But I’ve never considered myself a hardcore fan, and that brings me back to “The Force Awakens.” I’ve been very cautious about hype since I’ve been let down before, but I’ve realized that another part of my lack of a “see it now” reaction is thanks to my own casual fling with the franchise. It’s probably not helped that I’ve gotten into more variations of sci-fi flicks and shows that have interested me even more than “Star Wars” has. And I know it’s definitely not helped by the fact that I didn’t grow up with these movies as a kid. “The Phantom Menace” came out when I was still a pre-teen, and I hadn’t even begun to explore anything sci-fi at that time. Still, I will be seeing the movie at some point in the near future. Until then, for those of you who either saw it yesterday or are seeing it today, I hope it lives up to your expectations and please be mindful about posting spoilers for those of us who have to or want to wait.