For years, Star Wars fans have nervously anticipated the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise and first for director J.J. Abrams. Could it live up to the originals and wash away the bad taste left by the prequels or would their greatest fears come true? The good news: they can stop worrying, the movie is good. Their fears can melt away now about Chewbacca and Han Solo. They can abandon apprehension for Luke Skywalker. It is time for the nightmare of terror about that Adam Driver guy to finally end. It's good.
I'm not going to sugar coat it, walking into that cinema I felt my guts twisting like somebody with his head in the alligator's mouth. I was so afraid I almost didn't go. But, you know what, I did. I faced my fears. And it's okay. It's good. Star Wars is good. I was right to be afraid, but those fears proved unfounded. I didn't die when the spaceships flew across the screen. Some people screamed when General Leia appeared, but it was good screams, not agony screams. Did the droids bring a new form of warfare to our lands? No. Thank god, no. J.J. Abrams did not terrorize our families with the specter of imminent death.
In fact, I'm going to say it, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is good enough that I have abandoned every trace of my fears. I am no longer governed by the anxiety society builds into my interactions with my fellow men. Death itself no longer holds any menace to me. After seeing the third act of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I see death as nothing more than a natural cycle. All things must end, including me, so that new things may begin. Thank you, J.J. Abrams.
The existential terror of contemplating my own insignificance in the face of cosmic forces beyond my understanding began to lift as soon as I watched the opening crawl. J.J. Abrams got it right. The crawl was perfect, like reading the opening paragraph of a new chapter in my favorite novel. I understood my place in the sequence of events that brought about the formation of stars and planets and atmosphere and ultimately gave rise to life. The long and twisting path to civilization from nothing, to derive meaning from the void, became clear to me as BB-8 first trundled across the sands of Jakku. All this waiting had finally paid off. How could anyone still be afraid?
Some naysayers will undoubtedly present flaws in the Force Awakens as evidence that J.J. Abrams has failed and that we should continue to live with our constant fears. Will Rogue One be any good? Will we have enough money for retirement? Is true love real and will we find it? What pain awaits us, unseen, in the darkness of our future? Do not let these fears consume you. The Force Awakens is not perfect and that is only confirmation that it is real.
There are faults in the film which I will not fully enumerate here. What is the point, after all, when fear has been wiped from the vocabulary of my mind. Thank you, J.J. Abrams, for allowing me to live a fearless life. To approach each moment with the resolve that, come what may, the Force Awakens is good. That cannot be taken from me now. We belong to that brightest future, where merchandise will retain its value rather than become a Phantom Menace mockery, where our interactions with each other are no longer colored by that looming cloud of doubt. The box has been opened and we find the cat is alive. Maybe not great, maybe not an instant classic, but alive.
The truth is here: Force Awakens is good. Fear is gone. Spiders, snakes, public speaking, and terrorism become as menacing as oatmeal. Without fear, you will be at peace again. You will smile in your beds. You've done it, J.J. Abrams. A grateful world thanks you.