1980’s The Empire Strikes Back was the last time I went into a Star Wars movie completely fresh.

For Return of the Jedi, I received a copy of the movie novelization a week or two before the premiere and my 12-year-old self couldn’t help but peek at pages… and I regrettably learned that Han Solo comes back, Yoda dies and a few other nuggets.

For 1999’s The Phantom Menace, I had spent the previous three years competing hard against the entire internet (it was smaller at the time) in a drag-out race to completely spoil every detail of the movie with my team at theForce.net.

For Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, I had the immeasurable life experience of being at the first art department meetings long before George Lucas had even solidified the story and witnessed them taking shape week-by-week over years. Before the public premieres, I could pretty much quote the movies. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

Throughout my life, it has long been a knee-jerk wish to be able to have my mind wiped of Star Wars knowledge and to see the films fresh again. Probably one wish ahead of world peace.

And so it came to the first public screenings of The Force Awakens and with great effort (given my social media crowd) I had managed to to see nothing more than the two trailers. I had made a few too many educated guesses and had an unfortunate tendency to mentally check off trailer scenes, but from the first few lines of the opening crawl, I got to be swept away in the way that the creators intended. And swept away I was.

As I was deliberately avoiding even people’s impressions of the movie, I will hold off further initial thoughts about the film itself… or maybe just keep them for lively in-person discussion for those who might want to see me ramble.

A huge thank you to everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney. I know how much work it was to get us here… and we never saw it coming.

Did you see Episode VII? Were you spoiled in advance? What are your spoiler-free thoughts?

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