The Force Has Awakened: An Interview With Marty
You've been looking forward to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens for a long time. How did it measure up to the anticipation?
It was good, it was really good. We went to the 7:00 showing on Thursday (opening day, 12/17) and when I walked out I was still excited. The next morning when I woke up and remembered that I was going to see it at the Navy Pier IMAX I was even more excited. And knowing that I was going to share it with my wife, it was almost more than I could stand.
Was the opening as crazy as you expected?
No, not when we got there. We walked in, got our tickets, went to the concession counter and when we sat down we realized we had 45 minutes to kill. We weren't at one of the "major" screening venues so there weren't a lot of costumes or craziness. But when we walked out, the place was packed! It was playing on eight or nine of the 14 screens. It was starting every 15 minutes and people were everywhere. You could really feel the energy.
How did you feel about this episode and how it fit into the previous Star Wars episodes?
They did a great job. It was a natural follow through on the first trilogy (I'm talking about Episodes 4-6, of course). They brought back some of the beauty that was created through using models and puppets. They dirtied up the world, made it more realistic. I mean, they are in the middle of a war. There was sand where it should have been, dust where it belonged and water moved the way it is supposed to.
How many more times do you think you'll see The Force Awakens?
Well, hundreds of times! But if you mean in the theater, at least a couple more times. I've got to take my son and my wife wants to see it again. And then there are my brothers and we all want to go see it together. There are also some former co-workers, sort of a band of nerds, that I need to see it with. So, at least a few more times.
According to the news, Star Wars: The Force Awakens really rocked the box office. How satisfying was that as a long-time fan?
Well, we knew that if it was any good, it would do really well. The Phantom Menace could have done it if it had been better. Seeing the new movie break the records for domestic sales at $257 million, beating out Jurassic World and blowing Harry Potter out of the water on opening day sales at between $124-$127 million... yeah. Yeah, it was satisfaying.
So really, how long have you been a fan of Star Wars?
I'd have to say since forever. I mean, Star Wars has always been in my life. I remember getting a huge light saber when I was four. And we had all the movies. As a kid in Wisconsin we took the bus to and from school. The older kids sat in the back and the younger ones, like me, sat in front. And the rule in our house was, whoever was first to the TV got to choose what we watched. So being in the front of the bus usually gave me enough of a head start to the the first one to reach the TV an d claim it for Star Wars. And nothing has changed since, at least not in regards to my passion for Star Wars.
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!