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The Force Has Awakened… Almost.

Can you feel it in the air? Can you feel the anticipation, so fused with electricity it makes your skin tingle?

The Force has not yet fully awakened – but its awesome power has already sent ripples through the collective mind of millions of fandom acolytes, and those ripples will soon be waves that will crush box office records.

Multiplexes will tremble as the thundering footsteps of moviegoers approach.

Ticket providers will look upon the endless lines and fight the urge to claw their eyes from their sockets.

Ushers, ill-prepared for the onslaught, will weep like children who have fallen from their bikes and suffered the most horrible of childhood injury: the scraped knee.

Concession workers will pray to deaf gods for release from their torturous labors as they struggle to pour sugary drinks and scoop countless piles of popped corn from greasy machines, as the insatiable hordes scream for more.

Projectionists will shudder at the thought of the film malfunctioning, fully aware that a single locked door would never provide sufficient protection from the enraged, blood-thirsty mob that would form in nanoseconds.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will erupt at theaters December 18, but the frenzy has reached pandemic levels with the release of the official trailer this week. Anyone sensitive to the power of Lucasfilm realized the significance of this film long ago but for the rest of the world the truth is quickly crystallizing.

This isn’t just a film.

This is the resurrection of a movement.

This is the redemption of an entire franchise, one that was burned to ashes by the hubris of its arrogant, power hungry man-child founder. George Lucas committed the ultimate sin; he sacrificed the love of his followers to achieve some sort of twisted childhood fantasy of releasing a trilogy cobbled together by scraps of stray thoughts and half-baked ideas. He spit on the very fans who made him rich beyond his wildest imaginings. We gave him the means to create his own fire brigade and what did he give us?

Jar Jar Binks and Hayden Christensen.

Think I’m going off the deep end? Wouldn’t be the first time. However, I’ve met fans at conventions who are waiting for Lucas to die so they can literally spit on his grave. Hell hath no fury like a nerd scorned, people. As far as fandom is concerned, Joel Schumacher has been replaced as history’s greatest monster.

You have to understand, when Star Wars was released in the Seventies it changed everything. People weren’t used to seeing lines form around the corner from a theater for a simple science fiction movie. No one had dressed up as their favorite character to go to a “space movie”. Films didn’t usually release entire toy lines dedicated to their universe. Hell, films didn’t have universes; they stood alone.

But not Star Wars.

Star Wars forced movie studios to change how they did business. Toy companies followed suit. Suddenly every filmmaker wanted to make movies that spawned their own merchandise line – and they wanted to own that line. I’ll admit this: George Lucas may be a complete fool for creating those unspeakably-awful prequels but the man is a business whiz beyond compare.

Many of us who have spent the last few hours watching the new trailer over and over and over (and over), get it. This film will be better than all three prequels combined. Our childhood dreams, crushed by three disgusting films, are safe once more.

For me, Star Wars was the next best thing to having Star Trek back on the air with all-new episodes. I was Luke Skywalker, staring out at the horizon and pondering, “What if I became someone who changed the world? What if I became someone the entire universe looks up to? What if I mattered?” My childhood wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows; for a brief time, comic books and Star Wars gave me something to live for.

And the toys? Well, I had a blast collecting the toys, ships and merchandise. My dad? Well, he had to pay for “all that space crap”, so he wasn’t so enthusiastic about my quest…

Sadly, in later years my little brother got his grubby little hands on my collection and snapped the heads off of every figure – and tossed them off the fourteenth floor of my grandmother’s apartment building.

We still don’t speak. True story.

So you can understand why I’m more than a little overzealous when it comes to the future of the Star Wars universe.

Fortunately, that future appears to be safe once more.  See you on the streets of Pulp Nation, kids…

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