Star Wars invades stores

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By Karissa Erven

While buying a Star Wars senior shirt for her friend, Bianca Weyers, 10, discusses the details for the senior viewing of the movie at Green Valley Ranch Regal Cinema Dec. 18 with student council member Audra Sanchez, 12.
In preparation of the Star Wars senior night at Green Valley Ranch Regal Cinemas on Dec. 18, Bianca Weyers, 10, buys a shirt for her friend from student council member Audra Sanchez, 12. Photo by Karissa Erven

Long ago in a galaxy not so far, far away, Star Wars invaded stores and theaters everywhere. On Dec. 18 Star Wars fans can dive back into the land of lightsabers and Jedi as the new movie is released.

Disney now owns the Lucasfilm franchise, and this is the first Star Wars movie released since they took control. Despite initially claiming that the Star Wars story ended in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, George Lucas began work on the story of Episode VII in 2011 in order to increase the value of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Although Disney later elected not to use Lucas’s original story, the acquisition was finalized on October 30, 2012, and Disney and Lucasfilm officially announced Episode VII the same day. Stores everywhere have had figurines and memorabilia for sale since the movie was announced.

“I think this movie will have a lot more excitement to the story and possibly get more people to become fans of Star Wars,” Frankie Silva, senior, said.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be an original story set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. New characters will be introduced, along with the return of Hans Solo and his loyal companion Chewbacca. They will face a new threat from Kylo Ren and his army of stormtroopers.

Kylo Ren was born some time after the Battle of Endor. He became a member of the Knights of Ren and a follower of the dark side of the Force. Ren was obsessed with the fallen Sith Lord Darth Vader and modeled his appearance and behavior after him.

“I’m most excited to see Kylo Ren because he is the coolest looking character,” Silva said.

Tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens went on sale to the public in October after the trailer was released during Monday night football. It broke the IMAX record with more than $6.5 million for US screenings according to CNBC. The former IMAX record holders of $1 million were 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises and Avengers and 2013’s Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

“I’m super stoked for the new movie, my family and I already have tickets to the premier,” Amy Levanduski, senior, said. “They are going to have a lot more funding and better special effects. I grew up watching Star Wars, so I’m excited to see what they change.”

Editor’s Note: Student Council has invited all seniors to come together at Green Valley Regal Cinemas to watch the movie on Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets and shirts are currently being sold in the courtyard during both lunches.