CULLMAN – Ten years waiting for the announcement that there would be another movie. Waiting a month and a half after purchasing tickets for the day to arrive. Three hours waiting in line to grab a seat. Waiting through thirty minutes of previews. But when the timeless opening theme of “Star Wars” blasted through the Dolby surround sound speakers, I knew the wait was worth it.
Thursday night, I was one of the lucky Star Wars fans who got to witness the new generation of “Star Wars” on the big screen and in 3D. I was in the crowd for the opening night of “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace,” but somehow, Thursday night felt different. Maybe it was the thrill of seeing classic characters like Han Solo, Chewbacca and Leia Organa for the first time on the big screen since the re-release of “Return of the Jedi” in 1997. Maybe it was the introduction of new characters such as Finn, BB-8 and Kylo Ren. Maybe it was just the fanboy in me, but something felt different, and I was not alone.
Hundreds of Star Wars fans piled into the Carmike 10 cinema in Cullman for showing after showing of “Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens,” and they were not disappointed. From the famous opening scrawl that laid out the plot until the final credits rolled, the 3D theater I was seated in was alive with chatter. Not rude talk that interrupts a movie, but cheers, claps and gasps at the things transpiring on the big screen.
"I think ‘The Force Awakens’ is great," said Andrew Tubbs, Star Wars fan and movie patron. "It is compelling storytelling. It is on par with the original trilogy."
When asked if he would see the film again, Tubbs said, "I will go see it again on the big screen."
His comments mirror that of other fans both in Cullman and across the country, including this reporter. If you are a fanatic, fanboy or a casual fan of sci-fi, you owe it to yourself to go see “The Force Awakens.” You will not be disappointed.