The Force Awakens Dec. 18

The all surrounding and all binding energy reawakens


Justin Lopez, Staff Writer

Star Wars was created by George Lucas, and was originally released in theaters on May 25, 1977. Deb Pohlmann, AP environmental science instructor, recalls her experience with the film, (later titled Episode IV A New Hope).

“I was almost 14 when I saw it, and it was the only theater in [Sikeston, Missouri]. It was all so new; it introduced us to visuals and sounds we had never experienced before,” Pohlmann said. “The musical score was unforgettable! We would use the words, phrases, and sounds in daily conversations in school. We probably drove the teachers crazy talking like Yoda and using rulers as lightsabers.”

The first film in the Star Wars saga spawned an immense universe, and 38 years later the passion and enthusiasm for the universe has only increased, evident through the initial ticket sales for J. J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens in the U.S., on October 19, when the full length trailer was released. On this same night the Fandango website momentarily crashed.

Ben Child from “The Guardian” reports Fandango has declared The Force Awakens has “sold more than eight times as many tickets on its first day of release as the previous record holder”; Fandango’s previous record holder was The Hunger Games in 2012.

Breaking another record, Child said IMAX gained $6.5 million through ticket sales for the new Star Wars installment on the first day; IMAX “has never made more than $1 million” in a day, before The Force Awakens.

The second film to join the Star Wars universe in 1980 is Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Senior, Ryan Schwanke, expresses his reasons for enjoying “Empire” more than the other films.

“The good guys lose, Luke almost falls into despair when he learns the truth about his father, and it ends on a very bitter note, with Han kidnapped and Luke having a hand cut off; it’s the perfect set up for a great finale,” Schwanke said.

Junior, Adonis Garcia also reveals “The Empire Strikes Back” is his favorite Star Wars film.

“I loved planet Hoth, the battles with the AT-ATs, and the Wampa! The character development was amazing, much like the rest of the original trilogy, and the music was very fitting for each scene,” Garcia said. “The scene from the movie that stands out to me is the scene where Han stuffs Luke into the Tauntaun, because let’s be honest, as gross as it was, it was pretty awesome.”

Concluding the original trilogy in 1983 is the sixth episode, Return of the Jedi. In this film the audience witnesses the palace of Jabba, the destruction of the second Death Star, the victory of the Rebel Alliance, and the deaths of Darth Vader and the Emperor. Sophomore, Emma Desiderio praises the film, and names it her favorite because, “it has the best soundtrack”, while junior, Justin Juhond loves Admiral Ackbar’s line, “It’s a trap!”

The prequel trilogy is composed of Episode 1 The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode 2 Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith (2005). Lucas created these films aiming to reveal the moments leading up to the original trilogy by focusing on Anakin Skywalker’s path to the Dark Side.

Sophomore, Rachel Hanneman’s favorite film is Revenge of the Sith because she enjoyed the battle between Anakin and Obiwan on Mustafar, while senior David Gregory loves the film because “Darth Vader was born.”

Senior Kyle McDonald’s favorite episode is also Episode 3 because he enjoyed the lightsaber duels, although he admits “the originals have better story and character development.”

Garcia also agrees the original trilogy contained superior storylines and character development.

“I like the original trilogy much more than the prequels because it created a new universe, and with every movie, there was something new. The use of practical effects in the originals is another thing I loved,” Garcia said. “With the prequel trilogy, I didn’t feel the same charm, and the terrible CGI wasn’t something I was a huge fan of.”

A main drive in marketing The Force Awakens is the practical effects, and directly after viewing the trailer, Pohlmann bubbles with enthusiasm.

“How excited am I to see Harrison Ford still in the movie as Han Solo, and Chewie is still there too! I am so glad to see Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are in it as well,”Pohlmann said. “And yes, seeing the trailer gave me goosebumps, so I guess I am just as excited to see this one as the little girl was who saw the first one!”

Joshua Hauert, a fan of Star Wars and John Williams, is in a similar state of excitement.

“I have watched all the new trailers to The Force Awakens. I’m so pumped because I feel it will have the high action and sci-fi ness of all these modern movies while having the story and nostalgia of the old Star Wars movies,” Hauert said.

According to a recent Fielder survey of 112 students, approximately 77 percent are excited for the film.