When the instantly recognizable Lucasfilm logo appeared on the screen Thursday night at Premiere Theatre 8 in Norwalk, you could have heard a pin drop. Or maybe the quiet hum of a lightsaber.
Then John Williams’ triumphant main theme kicked in when the iconic, yellow “Star Wars” logo was on the big screen. I’ll admit it; I had full-body goosebumps — the kind that make me smile and returns me to the 7 1/2-year-old boy I was in 1977.
For this lifelong fan, there’s nothing like experiencing the saga with the master composer’s memorable score. I can’t say enough for what Williams’ music has done for the story created by George Lucas.
Williams helps sells Abrams’ compelling and dramatic story. Aside from the opening fanfare, the next time Williams hits a musical grand slam in “The Force Awakens” is the first time we see the Millennium Falcon.
But what about the story?
The audience seemed to hold its collective breath as the background story of “Episode VII” rolled in its unique way into the distance. Or was that just me?
Let’s put it this way: This is a no-spoiler review, so I’m not going to get into anything specific — not even the name of any characters.
The seventh film in the saga hits a lot of the right notes from the original trilogy. (Sorry, that musical pun just happened spontaneously. … Honest.)
Just as all six “Star Wars” films did, “The Force Awakens” features complicated and unusual relationships (some of them broken) — not to mention several characters undergoing journeys of self-discovery. The light and dark sides of the Force remain in tension.
There are familiar, yet older faces and equally familiar sound effects — lightsabers, the scream of the TIE Fighter engines and the “pew pew!” of laser blasts. Themes and schtick we’re used to seeing are there too. Abrams even uses the “screen swipes” that Lucas incorporated to change scenes.
And yes, a classic character has “a bad feeling about this.”
As the last scene ended and the credits — once again in the familiar blue letters — started, the audience clapped. A lot. That just doesn’t happen these days in theaters.
NORWALK REFLECTOR staff writer and Cary's Comics Craze blogger Cary Ashby is a lifelong “Star Wars” fan. Email him your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.