Star Wars Returns!

The Force Awakens poster

Lucasfilm

Yes, today marks the debut of the first Star Wars movie since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. Except for Sith, I’ve seen every movie multiple times. And yes, I still bitch about The Phantom Menace over and over. And like any nerd, I keep watching them.

This week, I’ve been doing a marathon, watch the first six movies each night before seeing The Force Awakens tomorrow night. Which means I had to spend Saturday night with Jar Jar Binks. (Hey, I saw Mockingjay Part 2 earlier in the day, so it works out.)

When I was a kid, I did not get to see Star Wars when it first came out. When it reached the old Idol Theater in the Cleveland exurb where I grew up, it had been out for months. The lines still stretched around the block. I saw The Empire Strikes Back with a youth group and took my brother to see Return of the Jedi.

Most of us were, of course, disappointed by the prequel trilogy. It was great that Lucas finally told the backstory on Darth Vader, and regardless of what you think of the prequels, it’s awesome watching Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine/Darth Sidious. But Lucas’s insistence on doing the trilogy himself and his tone-deaf execution earned him a bit of animosity that has never really gone away. It goes both ways. While Lucas has been supportive of Disney’s efforts to carry on the franchise, he’s also been vocal about how his ideas have been discounted.

So what will The Force Awakens bring us? Who knows? But unless it’s spectacularly bad – as in Ed Wood bad – we, the collected nerds of the world, will probably hit the theaters multiple times before each new film hits HBO and Netflix.

Because that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

And really, I kind of wish they’d done this movie:

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