I’m certain I will always remember December 6th, 2015. The day I got to see, with my own eyes, the people who shaped my childhood — and meet the people who will likely shape my sons’ childhoods, as well.
We arrived in an undisclosed location somewhere in downtown Los Angeles, confronted by massive, white, floor-to-ceiling curtains. A man dressed in all black with an earpiece and walkie-talkie greeted me. It felt like I was entering Jabba the Hutt’s private lair. I was asked which side I was on, Light or Dark. Now, a gentleman never reveals such things in print … but let’s just say my lightsaber isn’t red.
Inside was an alien world filled with magic. Space-age technology, droids buzzing about, and ice cream. Star Wars ice cream.
Soon enough, it was time to join the press conference for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Two rounds of question and answer sessions moderated by Mindy Kaling found its audience laughing, oohing, ahhing, the mounting anticipation electrifying the air around us.
It was surreal, like a clouded vision during Jedi training and equally emotionally stirring; my past, present, and future all in one room.
Here is my inside, exclusive look at the new far, far away galaxy:
1. The excitement builds:
So. Much. Cool. Stuff.
2. Meet Rey:
After the release of several Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers, we were introduced to three new characters. This is Rey. Portrayed by Daisy Ridley (who was also at the press conference!), Rey is from a junkyard planet called Jakku where she learned to survive by scavenging the leftovers, which she would sell for sustenance.
3. Meet Poe Dameron:
Poe, played by Oscar Isaac, is an X-Wing pilot in the Resistance. I can’t wait to see him kick some First Order butt.
4. Meet Finn:
This cool dude is known as Finn, or Eight-Seven if you’re one of his fellow soldiers. Finn used to be a stormtrooper but defected to join the Resistance in their struggle against the First Order.
5. And speaking of Stormtroopers:
My warm welcome into the press conference …
6. I am IN THE ROOM where Han Solo will be arriving shortly:
Six waters on the floor pending six amazing actors.
7. Feeling very official:
So soon now!
8. Funny girl Mindy Kaling arrives:
This is gonna be good.
8. The girl power is strong:
9. I’m so close we could probably make eye contact right now:
Han Solo 4 Lyfe.
10. Behind the scenes with J.J. Abrams:
Not to ruin the magic, but here’s a cool pic of the director and co-writer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens behind the scenes.
11. On the Leia hair buns:
Only Carrie Fisher could pull those off.
12. Buh bye Jar Jar:
We’ve all had enough of that creature.
13. But our favorite droids will be returning:
Hey, R2D2 and C-3PO!
14. Apparently, Harrison Ford isn’t cool:
Were his kids brainwashed by The First Order?
15. And that’s a wrap:
Yeah, I hung out with BB-8. NBD.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters everywhere on December 18.More On