SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS BELOW FOR THE FORCE AWAKENS - GO AWAY UNLESS YOU’VE SEEN IT! THEN COME IN AND BE AMONG FRIENDS! WE NEED TO TALK THIS OUT!
Qui Gon says only people who have seen The Force Awakens may pass. All else begone!
Are we safely far enough from the top to start whispering about Star Wars?
Okay, then. I’m sooooo happy today. Are you happy?
I saw The Force Awakens last night during the 7pm first showing and the theater was electric.
So how was the experience in your theater?
For me, it was the loudest, most engaged theater event I’ve ever been part of. Anyone there was basically a die hard who bought tickets more than a month in advance. It was kind of a zoo in the best possible way.
Here’s how it went down in my theater:
CHEER LEVEL NEGATIVE 100 - ABSOLUTE SILENCE
Han’s Fall From The Bridge - a chilling visual. It was like millions of childhoods cried out all at once and were suddenly silenced. Slow and heart wrenching. You could have heard a pin drop. Zero sound. Maybe this moment tipped people off, but it didn’t hurt any less.
CHEER LEVEL 1 - SOFT MURMUR
The Theater Curtains Starting To Open To Feature-Projecting Width: We could taste it coming.
General Leia Organa Reveal - Weird! I expected a huge ovation, but it was just barely a murmur. Might have been affected by the story flow. A quiet, emotional beat.
General Hux Reveal - Barely recognition. Was fan favorite Gleeson’s Hux a smidge over the top?
Snoke reveal - People are like huh? That’s one huge Gollum/pre-body Voldemort in a chair!
CHEER LEVEL 2
Captain Phasma reveal - Game of Thrones fans were like “there’s my girl!” Aaaaaand then they were like “where’s my girl?”
Rey Stop Holding My Hand Moment - How many of us think Finn needed to hold someone’s hand more than the other way around?
BB8 Saved By Rey - from whatever that neo-jawa on iron horse thing was. People liked.
Poe Reveal - A newcomer to the Star Wars universe, but an actor who is already beloved for loving the series as much as we do.
CHEER LEVEL 3
LucasFilm Logo - OK HERE WE GO!
C3PO Reveal - I expected a bigger welcome. I guess people don’t love a smartypants? Don’t forget he can program binary load lifters and speak Bocce! The fact he appeared between a big Leia & Han moment might have foiled him.
Rey Seeing Green - Certain character moments made Rey just so easy to love. This was one of them. Is the sand from whence all great Star Wars heroes doth spring?
Poe and Kylo WHO TALKS FIRST? - Big laugh but just kind of a decent sized reaction. Tension relieving and a great character moment for Poe, especially in hindsight when you realize that Kylo is emo as hell and Poe is older and has more natural gravitas.
BB8 Shocks Finn - An R2-reminiscent moment. Character beat for BB8 that people loved.
CHEER LEVEL 4
Finn Helmet Off Reveal - People didn’t know John Boyega before this film outside of the trailers. Was it an anticipatory reveal of a soon-to-be-beloved character or was it a black stormie? I don’t know, but this got a few “whoo’s”
Rey In Mask Climbing Reveal - Again, no one knew Daisy Ridley (and by Monday she’ll rightfully be the most popular actress in the universe) but seeing her pop into frame made people react. Someone yelled Yeah!
Rey Using The Force To Escape - People dug this, and the ovation crescendoed when she commanded the stormie to drop his weapon. What a great moment.
CHEER LEVEL 5 - AUDIBLE EXCITEMENT
Han Firing Chewie’s Bowcaster For The First Time - People really liked this. Schlocky but very effective.
Finn’s First WOOO - When he took out a Tie Fighter flying with Poe. Everyone was so into Finn. Is John Boyega impossible to dislike?
Luke Reveal - Maybe it was the story flow. Maybe it was because it’s a powerful beat and you already knew who it would be. But people reacted to seeing Luke as a greybeard. How genius is it that Luke was the most central part of the macguffin and he never uttered a word? Is that J.J. Abrams’ greatest trick?
CHEER LEVEL 6
Big Death Star Death Planet Or Whatever Blows Up - Big cheer. Probably the most run of the mill cheer of the day, but louder when the Falcon and the X-wings come out of the backlit fire. At some point someone on the bad guy side has to rethink the efficacy of giant planet killing weapons. These Darksiders need a plus/delta like you read about.
BB8 Thumbs up - When BB8 covers for Finn? The most brotastic beat of the film. Clapping. Cheers. People loved it.
CHEER LEVEL 7
Finn Lightsaber ON - when that blue glow of Luke’s saber lights up Finn’s determined (if not outmatched) face, people reacted. Amazing how quickly the audience willingly accepted that Finn and Rey are the new heroes of the universe.
CHEER LEVEL 8
The Millennium Falcon Reveal - What a pleasant surprise! The Falcon got one of the biggest ovations of the night. Partly because it was set up perfectly as JUNK and partly because it was edited masterfully before the reveal. People yelled. It was amazing.
CHEER LEVEL 9
Opening scroll - This was the end of a long wait. You could hear the relief. Clapping, cheering. catcalls. The end of one Star Wars era and the beginning of the next. No more Jar Jar things. People were giddy.
Rey Pulls Luke’s Saber Past Kylo / Lightsaber ON - GIANT OVATION. First girl jedi? ( I don’t know if at this point she’s just force sensitive), but that moment! That reveal that the saber chooses Rey. Is Rey the greatest Star Wars character ever?
End Credits - People thrilled about a job well done.
CHEER LEVEL 10 - PEOPLE LOSING THEIR SHIT
Han and Chewie Reveal - People went apeshit. It was like seeing your best friend again. Granted, they appeared together so it was like a double whammy, but the audience reaction was immediate and deafening. People SCREAMED with joy.
R2-D2 Reveal - My god. People came out of their chairs. One dude was pumping his fist. It may or may not have been me. How can an upside down trashcan be this beloved? But he is. By all of us. R2 embiggens us all.
That’s basically the way it went down for me. How was it in your theater? How did you like Kylo Ren? Do you get why Luke vanished? What’s up with Han & Leia’s parenting? Do you understand the fabric of the Star Wars world (re: resistance & republic)? Did it feel reminiscent to you? Was Leia too wooden? How many girls will be named Rey next year?
I’m so happy right now. Star Wars is so amazing. May the Force be with you all!