A Long Time to Decide to go to the Theater Far Far Away

Note: Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers Not Included

Tonight theaters across Japan premiered Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 6:30 p.m. Tickets have been on sale for weeks but I, of course, waited until a couple hours before the show to decide if I was going or not.

The catch was if I would take the family or not. This presented a couple problems: The girls haven’t seen the original movies and didn’t seem keen on seeing the new one. My plan for them to watch all the movies in the  “Machete Order” (A New Hope; The Empire Strikes Back; Attack of the Clones; Revenge of the Sith; Return of the Jedi; or by episode number: 4-5-2-3-6; never watch episode 1) was treated as if I’d just assigned them two books worth of algebra homework.

Then, at two hours before the movie, I logged on to the local theater website and saw that the premiere showing was still open. At that point, She Who Must Be Obeyed said that although she’d be interested in going, she hadn’t seen all the movies either even though I’m pretty sure that was in our marriage vows: love, honor, cherish, memorize Star Wars lines. After several minutes of discussions about discussions, I decided to go ahead and go, family or no, but promised to report on if it was worth taking the girls to see on Sunday.

(The whole time I was doing this I was remembering a friend’s warning that seeing the new Star Wars series would be like a second marriage: the triumph of hope over experience.)

There was then a few minutes of wrestling with the website–which timed me out at one point and then sold the seat I wanted out from under me. I managed to reserve a ticket and then tried to figure out how to get the tickets once I got to the theater. By the time all that was finished, it was time to go.

I got out the door without my reading glasses but that turned out to not be a big deal. The ticket machine was painless as all I had to do was push two touch-screen buttons and hold my phone up to a reader so the machine could read the QR code I’d been sent in an email. The machine printed a ticket and a receipt and all I had to do was not lose the ticket.

I admit to having a teenaged thrill about going to see a new Star Wars movie and couldn’t resist getting the large popcorn, which turned out to be a proper large and not a Japanese large which means I’ve had my carbs for the rest of this year and part of the next. I was surprised that the theater didn’t sell out and disappointed only one fan had a light saber. (He seemed surprised too and turned it off right away.) There was a good mix of people my age and younger. No one was in costume.

Then the lights went out and there were no previews. Instead we got the Lucas Film Logo and “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” And then there was that pause and then that punch of music with the Star Wars logo and I was kid again for a little while.


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