Star Wars: The Force Awakens will create a new generation of fans

A long time ago in a suburb not so far away, a little boy sat in a movie theater with his parents and watched a movie that changed the way he and other little boys — and girls — watched movies forever.

Star Wars proved to the world that you can in fact do anything in the movies and make magic happen again and again.

And then Jar Jar Binks happened and well, that little boy began to wonder “What in the world is going on with Star Wars?” The story was good during the ’70s and ’80s, but was it not able to keep up in the new era of movie making?

I need to quickly say, I am not a “Star Wars guy.” And although my favorite character is Wedge (look it up), I haven’t been counting down until the release and I own zero action figures, socks, T-shirts or pajamas with the logo on them.

After “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” and the other two after that, I had a love-hate relationship with Star Wars. It started out solid, then it began to get worse and worse. Just as I was ready to leave forever … The Force Awakens.

As I have joked a lot on social media,”The score is 3-3, what if this one sucks? What if Jar Jar pops back up and turns the entire thing into a musical? What if JJ Abrams pulls a “Lucas” and puts the final nail in the Star Wars coffin? Worse yet, what if he called M. Night Shyamalan for advice?!”

After being invited to a special media screening yesterday morning, in a secret location, I am here to let you know (Drum roll, please) “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is great.

The script, story telling, action, special effects and yes, acting, are all top notch. It’s a movie you will want to see. The combination of old-fashioned movie making and storytelling with the best technology makes it jump off the screen.

Let me be clear:

Is it the best sci-fi movie I have ever watched? No.

Is it the best action movie I have ever watched? No.

Will it win an Oscar? No.

It is, however, a great addition to the story of Star Wars. One of the best, in fact. The way the movie weaves the old and the new together will make you cheer, warm your heart, jump out of your seat and even laugh. Yes, at times, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is very funny.

Not Ewok silly. Actually well-timed comedy.

JJ Abrams, who is known for adding rocket fuel to action movies, reaches his directing peak in The Force Awakens. He is also very good at shifting gears and keeping several story lines alive, without making it overbearing or confusing.

Our “old friends” come in with precision timing and the new characters are easy to like, cheer for and even hate – because, of course, there’s a bad guy.

I sat next to a mommy blogger who is a “Star Wars girl” and she was clapping, laughing, cheering and generally going nuts.

The WIFE and I have been telling our kids that they need to see all six of the previous movies before they see The Force Awakens, but after watching it, they really don’t need to know much about Star Wars at all. The story holds its own for new fans and will put a smile on the face of the old fans.

Hopefully the magic will start all over for a brand new generation.

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