THE FORCE WILL BE STRONG IN DECEMBER

I've been checking out the online coverage of the San Diego Comic Con, and I think it's finally settling in that this December we're heading back to that galaxy far, far away... which means I am just a big wad of giddy juice. Because not only are we getting the beginning of a brand-new trilogy directed by J.J. Abrhams and co-written with the legendary Lawrence Kasdan, all our heroes are back... Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Threepio, and Artoo. The Millenium Falcon soars again, and now we'll meet those who will carry on the galactic battle between good and evil.

As a young man, while I wasn't at the opening day of Star Wars in 1977, Deena, my brother Kenny, and I were at the Eastwood Theater on Memorial Day that weekend... the only theater in Indianapolis that was carrying the film. It was the first time I ever walked into that legendary cinema.... giant Dolby speakers sitting behind that magnificent curved 70 MM screen, smaller Dolby speakers set up all around the theater to maximize the movie-going experience. Just waiting for tickets and watching that line stretch from the doorway to around the theater and out into the Ayr-Way parking lot was astounding. I just knew that something very, very special was about to fill that screen.

To say the least, for me and millions and millions of science-fiction, fantasy, and film fans, STAR WARS was a life-changer. And the fans who were at the Star Wars panel were on the receiving end of that legacy: the reunion of the original Star Warriors, a passing of the baton to the new heroes who will move forward with the continuation of the saga, and then to be escorted by Stormtroopers to an open air theater to bask in a live Star Wars concert by the San Diego Orchestra... and receiving a personal message from the great John Williams himself!

December is going to be a long time coming, but from what I've seen in the previews and the spirit that filled that 7000-plus audience, it's all going to be worth the wait. 'Cause as Han Solo said at the end of that mighty sneak preview, "Chewie... we're home."