If you click on Star Wars you'll hear John Williams' iconic Star Wars theme music.
A time before Han Solo and I had grown children.
I particularly remember going to see Star Wars II: The Empire Strikes Back (You know, that's the one where Han got frozen in some kind of something-or-other and we had to wait three years to see him safely thawed out.)
A group of us single moms took our children to the local drive-in movie theater. My son was six years old. We took two cars. I parked my station wagon in the slot backwards, opened the back hatch door, spread blankets and pillows, and filled it with kids. One of the mothers brought a grocery bag filled with popcorn and another shared red Kool Aid all around.
Us moms got into a sedan parked in the next slot and poured wine. It was a wonderful evening. We were in no way constrained by our children's presence. We whooped and hollered, honked the horn, and flashed the headlights at all the appropriate places in the film, and our children could pretend they didn't know us.
The Empire was defeated lo these many years ago, and both it's death stars destroyed. But each generation brings new tyrannies that must be vanquished -- even in galaxies far, far away.
Fast forward to 2016. My husband and daughter and I went to see the newest iteration of Star Wars in 3D. In a fine, indoor IMAX theater with comfy seats and a well-behaved audience.
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens opens on Jakku, a desert planet. I know, I know. A little deja vu. But it's not Tatooine, though there is an old guy Lor San Tekka played by Max Von Sydow who reminds us of Obi-Wan. Tekka gives the ace x-wing fighter pilot Poe a secret map to find Luke Skywalker. Poe gives his droid BB8 the map for safe keeping when Storm Troopers arrive and take him captive.
Oh, did I say? The whole point of the movie may be brilliant special effects -- loud explosions, fiery crashes, electrifying chases through barren desert landscapes and lush rain forests, and light saber duels amidst noise and confusion and imminent death.
But the plot is the search for Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi Knights. Actually we are being introduced to the characters who will carry the story through the next two movies. And, for the most part the new characters are worth our being introduced to.
BB8 is a charming little droid that rolls its way in, around, and through the movie. By-the-bye, it's real self was built by Sphero, a start up toy company right here in Colorado. And they are the manufacturers of the toy that is now available for purchase, if you have $150 you really need to spend.
Rey, a self-sufficient young woman abandoned on Jakku, makes her own way through wit, courage, and action. She is a loner, depending on no one, caring for no one, and trusting no one. Until --
Until she reluctantly takes on the care and protection of BB8. And meets Finn.
Finn, a Storm Trooper, finds himself unable to do the despicable things he was raised and trained to do. Without giving away all the excitement -- he ends up working with Rey and BB8 to help The Resistance find Skywalker.
Of course there's Princess Leia, now a general in The Resistance. And Han Solo. (When did Han and I get so old?) And Chewy. He's still kind of threatening looking but cuddly underneath it all. (I used to have a big old hairy dog a lot like that.)
Kylo Ren is the new bad guy and I think he'll be sufficiently scary as he matures. He is, after all Darth Vader's grandson.
General Hux doesn't cut it for me as the Commander of the First Order's Starkiller Base. (This movie's answer to the other two Death Stars.) He's just not 'hard' enough looking. He does things that are quite mean, but somehow it just doesn't ring true for me.
And Supreme Leader Snoke is too Wizard of Ozish.
I didn't fall asleep in the movie until near the end. But, my daughter was with my husband and me and her purpose in life is to punch me in the ribs when I fall asleep in movie theaters. So her raison d'etre was justified.
I did see the very end which summed up the movie perfectly -- The torch is passed.
I think Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens is worthy of whooping and hollering, honking and headlight flashing. And I'm looking forward to Star Wars VIII. Maybe some day they'll bring back drive-in movies.