Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I'm seeing Star Wars before you are

I've been giving Australian release dates a hard time lately.

Today, I praise them.

Because release dates are a day earlier in Australia than in the U.S. -- Thursday vs. Friday -- and because Australia is x number of hours ahead of the U.S. anyway -- between 16 and 19, depending on what coast you live on, or whether you live on a coast at all -- I can say with confidence, no matter who you are or when you read this:

I'm seeing Star Wars before you are.

It's 17 hours away as I type this. Less when you read it.

It'll be about 8 a.m. Wednesday on the east coast when my midnight screening starts, some 40 hours before even the most die-hard American fans figure out how to finagle their way into the earliest possible screening.

Miraculously, I go in almost completely untainted by excess familiarity with the images from this movie.

I watched the original teaser and then the second teaser, but I never watched the full-length trailer for The Force Awakens. It didn't appear before any films I saw in the theater, and now that I'm not planning to see any more films in the theater before tonight, I can say with certainty that I've avoided that entirely. I've also avoided it online, which was easier when the choice to click or not click was always mine.

So I will basically be awash in this new world, or in this revisitation of a world I know, just with fresh new permutations.

I will do you the courtesy of not posting my thoughts here. If there were ever a movie that you should go into with full reserves of optimism, it should be this one. In fact, I don't even know if the buzz is good or bad on it yet, except for what people who have seen it early -- like, actors in the movie and, I believe, the poster artist Drew Struzan -- have glowingly said about it. I'm not going to go to Metacritic now to check, but I believe if I did, I would not even see an existing Metascore for this movie. Good job Disney on really keeping the lid on this movie until it came out.

The thing that worries me the most now is that I don't know what kind of shape I'll be in come midnight tonight. I meant to go to bed early last night, but didn't. I meant to sleep a little later this morning, but couldn't. I'm going to load myself up on caffeine tonight, but I don't want to create a dire bathroom emergency that overtakes me about halfway through the running time.

In the end, though, I guess it's reasonable to assume that the inherent excitement of the experience, couple with a raucous crowd, will be enough to carry me through to the finish line.

I've got my Millennium Falcon shirt ready and my tickets already in my backpack. It's now -- hey -- it's now only 16 and a half hours away.

Look, I'm not trying to make you feel bad. You'll see Star Wars soon. Really you will.

But not as soon as me.

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