ByJM Prater, writer at
JM Prater

Here me out.

I was sitting in my car in the rain in 2012 in Chicago when the news hit that there would be another Star Wars trilogy. My head was spinning. I couldn’t wait to get home and read what all the fans were saying and speculating.

I knew right away, in my gut, that we’d be seeing Han, Luke, and Leia again. I just knew we would. The idea that the triumvirate who so captured my youth would again be reunited on film was something I could have only hoped for and dreamed about. Months later, it would be confirmed that indeed, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford would be coming back again to make star wars STAR WARS.

In 1999 I was 23, young, not much direction, but I loved Star Wars. That much I knew. My first memory of being in a theater was watching The Return of the Jedi at the tender age of seven at the Davis theater in Chicago. Years later, I remember watching the trailers for The Phantom Menace with friends..we were excited, but we didn’t know what to think of what we were gonna see.

So much of the prequel films we knew. Maybe we didn't understand everything that had transpired in terms of Anakins fall to the Dark Side of the force (and really, we didn’t need to know, ultimately), but we were familiar with it.

When bits of information started coming out about The Force Awakens, I knew nothing…it was a tale that had never been hinted at, a history none of us could imagine. The fact still remained that again, we would see the return of Han, Luke and Leia…which would essentially be the trump card in the deck. No matter what the prequels offered, they were a different story, with different characters…characters I didn’t grow up with, save for the droids and Yoda. The character of Luke Skywalker was all of us, boy and girl, men and women. Han was the hero inside us, the swashbuckler, the romantic lead….and Leia, that strong-willed fast talking, take no prisoners princess that every boy and girl needed in their life.

For me, there is no comparison. The hype and excitement for The Force Awakens pales in comparison to The Phantom Menace and the prequel trilogy. I haven’t read a script, I don’t know what’s coming, and that excites me even more.

JM Prater


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