Well, here we are: one year out from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s strange to think that just over two years ago, none of us thought that we were so close to seeing a new live-action Star Wars movie in the theaters. I didn’t expect to see one while George Lucas was still alive, and I’m thankful that it didn’t take him passing away for a seventh episode to enter production. As we start counting down the last year of a more than ten year wait between installments, I’m excited for what we’ve got ahead of us and surprised by what we already know.
I’ll be honest, I more or less expected Lucasfilm’s veil of secrecy regarding The Force Awakens to remain up until at least Celebration Anaheim in April 2015. Based on my experience with the Prequel Trilogy, I thought maybe we’d get some behind-the-scenes still images before Celebration, but didn’t expect much else. Certainly not a title, a trailer, and some character names! Maybe my memory is foggy, but I seem to recall that we didn’t get that kind of information until eight or so months out during the Prequels. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we’ve gotten these glimpses; I was just surprised. Guess I need to “unlearn what I’ve learned,” to paraphrase Yoda.
I’ve also been enjoying the “spoiler game” for The Force Awakens. I’m the kind of fan who spoiled myself rotten for Episodes I, II, and III and feel like that enhanced my enjoyment of the lead-up to each film without detracting from my cinematic experience. One of the reasons I began reading MakingStarWars.net was because of Jason and the team’s excellent coverage of the rumors regarding Episode VII. Some of my favorite parts of 2014 have been getting home from work and seeing the new scoops that Jason has dropped. I’m especially excited to see what story tidbits we get now that the film has entered post-production (typically the time when that kind of information begins to leak as people start seeing parts of the film).
There’s so much more to look forward to in the year ahead. As a long time 3 ¾” figure collector, I cannot wait to see what Hasbro has in store for action figures and vehicles. If we’re lucky, maybe there will be a Midnight Madness release of merchandise (and if I’m especially lucky, maybe the Walmart and K-Mart near me here in north central Iowa will start carrying Hasbro Star Wars product). Of course, there’s more Star Wars merchandise than just that made by Hasbro, and I’m hoping to walk into a store and be inundated by the sights of the saga.
Speaking of sights, remember when The Force Awakens teaser just debuted in the last month? Remember how little footage there actually was in it and how we all flipped out? Are we going to break the internet when we get a substantial look at footage from the new film? I think we might!
I think even more than that, I’m wanting to hear more new John Williams Star Wars music. That little bit we got in the teaser was fantastic and with each of the prequels, what really made the movie’s imminent arrival feel “real” to me was sitting back and listening to the new score a few dozen times and trying to imagine how the film would play out to the music while appreciating the mastery of the Maestro.
And then there is the lining up before the movie itself. I’ll admit to being a bit nervous in that regard due to December in the Midwest being a bit unpredictable, but that won’t stop me. I waited in line with other fans for nine hours for The Phantom Menace, eleven for Attack of the Clones, and fourteen for Revenge of the Sith. The sense of excitement and camaraderie were electrifying, and I will not miss it!
But yet… One year out. What a ride it’s been so far, and it can only get better! The hype and excitement remind me of the pre-Episode I days, but there’s a major difference this time around that I’m enjoying even more: interacting with all of you other fans on social media. You guys have made it a whole lot more fun this time around, and I cannot wait to experience the next year with you all. Just 365 days until Star Wars: The Force Awakens. May the Force be with us all!