Yesterday morning I sat in a small theater in Minnesota along with fellow members of the media. (Okay time out, I’M CONSIDERED MEDIA!!!!!!!!!!!) Our mission was to join together and view an advanced screening of the much anticipated film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The agreement was simple: no spoilers, don’t blast it all over social media that you were invited to the screening and do not post your review until such and such date. I arranged for a friend to graciously watch the girls. As I sat in the theater, the house lights starting to dim, I desperately wanted to let out a giddy squeal.

This movie; the world has been waiting some 30 plus years for it to come. The time has come and finally, finally our thirst for the next saga in our beloved Star Wars will be quenched.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Poster

I’m not going to lie; I enjoy a good spoiler. I scoured the Internet looking for spoilers, theories and rumors regarding The Force Awakens. I found some, lengthy at best, and as a busy mom with young kids I don’t have time for lengthy theories. Now that I’ve seen the movie I am going to tell you one thing: Do not read any spoilers. That’s right. I didn’t really find anything in my quest for plot divulging spoilers and after seeing the movie I’m so glad I went into it not knowing what was coming. Due to that, I’m not telling you one thing about the plot. I sincerely want for you to experience The Force Awakens on your own. It’s worth it and it does not disappoint.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensPh: Film Frame©Lucasfilm 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ph: Film Frame
©Lucasfilm 2015

With the, um…failures of the Star Wars prequels fresh in my mind I wasn’t really looking forward to a new Star Wars movie. While it was great understanding where Darth Vader came from, how he was coerced to the Dark Side the movies did not leave me wanting more. The more I learned about the newest installment of Star Wars the more my appetite for this epic story grew. From the Comic Con first-look reel and concert to the tidbits of featurettes and trailers, Disney did nothing short of build hype for the movie’s opening. I was hopeful the hype would be fulfilled. I hoped it was not merely a money making marketing scheme. I so wanted for the movie to live up to everything I imagined it would be.

Star Wars: The Force AwakensPh: Film Frame©Lucasfilm 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ph: Film Frame
©Lucasfilm 2015

[Tweet “Star Wars: The Force Awakens exceeded my expectations and most definitely lived up to its hype.”]

While it may be brilliant marketing the fact remains that when it comes down to it, everything about the movie could have gone one of two ways: The movie would either be a flop or it would be amazing. With J.J. Abrams at the helms, it was nothing short of amazing. It was brilliant. It was the film that I, a fan of the original Star Wars space opera, was proud of. It was a great homage to the original trilogy with witty dialogue and iconic props and images.

Star Wars Beautiful Cinematography

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ph: Film Frame
© 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Right Reserved..

From the opening credits to the appearances of old characters and icons, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. I wanted to squee with delight when Han Solo and Chewy came onto the screen. I fell in love with the new loyal droid BB-8 as it rolled around in the desert following protagonist Rey. I developed a crush on the cocky yet humble pilot Poe Dameron and rooted for the moral hero Finn as he discovered what he was made of. The entire movie I was on the edge of my seat and as I watched I craved more. I now want to know everything that happens. I want to know why Kylo Ren became the man he is. Who is Rey? And why on earth can no one find Luke Skywalker? The cinematography is beautiful. CGI is not meant to carry the film in the way the prequels relied heavily on CGI technology. The film is brilliant because the story is brilliant; it satisfies our 32 year craving and then leaves us wanting more.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Character Collage

My tips for being ready to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

  • Avoid all spoilers if at all possible.
  • See it in a theater on the big screen. It’s not meant to be seen on your fancy (smaller than a theater) TV screen.
  • Watch it with another Star Wars fan! Part of the fun of the movie is enjoying it with someone else who’s a fan. You can be on the edge of your seats together, hold hands when necessary and squeal with delight. I got lucky and ran into my pal Alexis from myTalk 107.1 at the screening so I was able to watch the movie with someone who was also enjoying it. (pictured below)

Alexis Thompson and Bert Anderson

  • As far as the PG-13 rating goes: If your kids have seen the other Star Wars movies this is not any darker than the other movies.
  • Do not get popcorn; it’ll only make you thirsty.
  • If you do get popcorn, you’ll need a drink because you’ll be dying from thirst and then you’ll have to pee or sit uncomfortably for two plus hours. This is a movie you literally can’t leave. You will miss something. I promise you. Again, skip the popcorn.
  • Enjoy it. This is the film we’ve all been waiting for. The time has come and it is here. Watch it in the theater the first time and soak everything in. Then you can go and watch it over and over again dissecting every little nook and cranny.

What are you looking forward to most? Have you seen the film?

All photos courtesy of Walt Disney Media.

Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.