Star Wars was my childhood. That's not an overstatement. I was born in 1978 (in Kenya), and from the time I can remember remembering, everything was Star Wars-related: R2D2 birthday cakes; toys; role playing with childhood friends, using invisible lightsabers and trying to replicate the sound they make, and using random pieces of wood as blasters.
My mother always reminds me that, when I was three years old, she took me to a double feature of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. I still remember that, vaguely. Yoda was scary. Then he wasn't.
I grew up with Star Wars.
And then I grew out of Star Wars. The Phantom Menace is cinematic dog shit. I liked a lot of things in Attack of the Clones, but overall it's a bad movie. Revenge of the Sith is...
You know what? I'm going to stop being negative about the prequels. Been there, done that.
Because The Force Awakens is an honest-to-god Star Wars movie, and I'd like to focus on the future rather than reflect negatively on the past.
Nostalgia is a tricky thing. Whenever I have trouble sleeping, I think about my past: places I've been, friends I had. Those are fond memories I'd like to see over and over again, like photographs in a family album.
I paradoxically want to go back and continue on. So, yeah, The Force Awakens is a magic trick I've seen before, a remix of Episode IV. But it has so much genuine soul, such well-written characters, and so many good moments (it's the funniest film in the franchise), that I don't give a shit if it's the same story told in a different way.
Because it's the same story told in a great way.
And BB-8 is my motherfucker.