Jeff, 12 days in a tent to meet Star Wars cast. Who is Jeff?

It’s never too late for a review, especially when it comes from Jeff. He has been a long-time Star Wars fan, he was in line for the premiere and most importantly for us, he won a t-shirt from our Star Wars giveaway back in November sponsored by DesignByHumans. Jeff sent us a photo with the t-shirt and his personal review on the movie.

Enjoy his thoughts on the days before the premiere:

I am huge Star Wars fan and have been ever since I saw the first movie back when I was 13 and the whole family, aunts, uncles, and grandparents all went to see it on my birthday. That being said I owed a lot of my childhood to being a nerd along with some of my friends, but back then it wasn’t as fashionable as ‘maybe’ it is now. I was into science fiction and an avid reader as well. I do remember picking up at the local book store a book about a farm boy on a desert planet (at least that is what the first paragraph read) since I hadn’t heard about the movie and I wasn’t interested in reading about a farm boy that was all I read at the time. Little did I know that the story that was contained in the book would be a big reason on the person I am today.

When Star Wars came out I was transformed and vindicated that being a nerd or liking Star Wars was something that could be considered cool and profitable. Yes profitable because the toys were collected and given to me. They were something I cherished and kept, never to be sold or traded for other stuff, my Gi Joe was gone but my Star Wars action figures and Death Star and other Star Wars toys are still safe and not to be parted with.

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Photo credits: Afrofantasy.net

The story of Star Wars and its legacy was something I grew to love. I saw the movie a lot of times, but not like some of my friends who saw it twice a week and I wasn’t old enough to have a cool car like a neighbor’s brother that had Luke holding a light saber painted on the hood of his Trans Am. But I enjoyed the tale of good versus evil and the subsequent movies that filtered in after the initial Star Wars.

The prequels (at least that is what I call them) even were okay for the new generation to watch and maybe get a feeling of the Star Wars of my generation. I can not fault Lucas for trying to get a story going with popular actors that may tell what happened before. Even Jar Jar was like a Howard the Duck and will maybe always be made fun of but maybe that will pass eventually.

I knew Lucas had always said there would be nine movies and was said that he said he was only going to do six but then comes Disney and I can feel that in my lifetime I will get to experience the Star Wars legacy continue and wasn’t too worried that the franchise would be ruined by Disney – although I knew they needed some guidance by Lucas – and when I heard J.J. Abrams would be stepping in I knew the story, at least the first Star Wars coming back would be EPIC.

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Photo credits: varsitybreakout.com

That leads me to what can be only called as the awaken of my love of Star Wars all over again. In fact these last few weeks have been amazing to say the least. I knew I had to do something drastic to show my love for the movie and so online I found a group that had been lining up for Star Wars movies for the last few and some since the beginning in 1977. LiningUp.net was lining up at the TCL Chinese Theater and camping out from December 5th at noon until the first showing on December 17th at 7 pm. Now mind you that is twelve days of lining up and although I do love Star Wars I figured I would put in sometime in line with these people and see what goes from there.

Well the whole line up thing was explained to me that we could line up off and on during the twelve days and sign in and out during that time. If we logged in at least twentyfour hours we can buy a pair of tickets to the first showing at the TCL Chinese Theater. This was all for charity to raise money and awareness for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. I was ready. When could you camp out in the forecourt of the major Hollywood landmark and sleep on the footprints and handprints of the celebrities. Also this was where the Star Wars movie premiered in 1977, granted it only showed on 32 screens when the original came out but it ran for 62 weeks at the TCL Chinese Theater and it is where I wanted to see this new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Especially since they were showing it in 70mm laser 3D Imax.

That was an experience I will never forget and rightly so. The people in line were just like me and were huge Star Wars fans and had stories similar to mine. We lined up and camped out in the cold (for California weather) and after a few days word got out and the press showed up and we were interviewed about how much we loved Star Wars and the Starlight Children’s Foundation got some much needed recognition. In total, Starlight believes we were seen in some form or another during the time by about one billion people. We had pizza donated and Buffalo Wild Wings and other food and swag as well and a lot of people coming by asking us what we were doing.

While we were getting closer to our goal and countdown to the first public showing on Thursday we found out that the premiere was going to be happening in the three theaters in Hollywood, the El Capitan, the TCL Chinese Theater and the Dolby Theater. They began to setup a huge tent which was more like a tunnel that ran from Highland down Hollywood Blvd to Sycamore and they blocked off more than 1/2 mile for the premiere. This was bigger than the Oscars and I knew then we were in the heart of the biggest premiere Hollywood has ever seen. As this is going on, we were told that being fans and the biggest Star Wars fans we would be invited to be on the red carpet in bleachers, A-mazing. We would be able to see all the cast walk down the red carpet. I am still in awe.

The day before the red carpet premiere everyone was excited. So much had happened in such a short time. When you wake up to Anthony Daniels saying hello (yes he arrived early in the morning to say hello to us as we were waking up in line) and then Ray Parks stops by that evening and does a few light saber demos with us Star Wars fans in line, I knew I was in for an incredible next few days.

The morning comes and we all meet very early and are escorted over to what we thought were going to be bleachers, but actually they ended up being a little farther away from the red carpet then previously thought, plus it was very cold and it seemed like we were in a wind tunnel on Hoth. So we waited in what was a few hours until the word came out that we were going to be let into the premiere. Oh and to the After-Party as well. You can’t imagine what that meant to me and the other fan, while others bowed out and wanted to wait until that Thursday, most of us wanted to experience this once in a lifetime moment going to the biggest premiere and also the after party with the cast.

As we watched from a distance Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, Daisy Ridley and the rest of the cast walk the red carpet we knew we would be next, and then we were given badges to wear and were lead down that enormous tunnel into a beautiful scene of a Star Wars experience that only a few could witness. There were stormtroopers and Lego models of the cast and that is when we learned that was where the after party was going to be, so we were rushed into the TCL Chinese Theater and given popcorn and soda and took our seats for what I can only describe as a very surreal experience. Something that I will never forget and sitting there and seeing the Lucasfilm logo come up and then the title screen scroll up the screen just gave me goosebumps.

After the movie ended, we left into the the tunnel where I saw some VIPs head over to their area of the after party and saw for a minute J.J. Abrams walking with a few people taking selfies as he was hurried along. I wanted to thank him and a few others for making the movie a reality and bringing the new generation Star Wars fanatics just like I am.

I ended up taking pics with CP3O, BB8, Chewy, and a few Stormtroopers and having a few things to eat and something to drink before I headed back to the line to decompress what we just witness and to fairness to some who hadn’t seen the movie we were able to keep our conversations spoiler free.

The line was moved from the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theater a few times before the eventful Thursday screening due to a few premieres but was all set up for our screening which is what we were there for to begin with. I put on my new t-shirt I won from TeeHunter and DesignByHumans and went off to enjoy the Epic time and the last few hours in line. Before we went into the theater, my new friends from Australia got married in the forecourt Star Wars style: complete with R2D2, Chewie and Darth Vader and all of us Star Wars fans in attendance plus about 100 press. It was a beautiful wedding and a fitting way to celebrate the screening of the new Star Wars movie.

Going into the theater with all my new friends and all the Star Wars fandom and something we had been waiting for made it extra special. Seeing it in laser iMax 3D was amazing as well. The scenes like the star destroyer coming right at you made it so much worth it seeing it that way.

As far as my review, all I can say is that being a fan of Star Wars since it started in 1977, this new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the right story for the franchise to move along and is great for fans of Star Wars new and old. The new generation of fans will love it just as much as us diehard Star Wars fans. The movie has just the right story and will be a movie you will want to see again and share it with family and friends. Star Wars will grow from this movie and will open up a whole new world of possibilities and the outcome will be a new generation of Star Wars fans. So if you haven’t seen it already, do it! and May The Force Be With You.

– Jeff Cecchettini (Photo below)

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Hi, I'm Sergiu. I run TeeHunter. I make sure our team of t-shirt addicts have everything they need to bring you the best t-shirts out there.

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