The Force is strong across the country, and right here in Salina. Millions of “Star Wars” fans got their first look at the latest installment of the epic saga. After years of buildup, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened across the country.
At the Starplex Cinemas in Salina the first fans were in line at noon, to see the 7:00 premier.
Christopher Johnson was first in line. He laughed as he told KSAL News that his love for Star Wars started “a long time ago in a galaxy far away.” Johnson’s father Randy was with him. He told KSAL News that the movie has brought the family closer. “We’re all here to see it together,” he said.
As the line grew, it became a festive atmosphere. Some were dressed for the occasion, in costume of their favorite Star Wars character. Employees from the Salina Dollar Store on South Broadway came as a group, and all in costume. They told KSAL News it wasn’t hard to get everyone to agree to dress for the occasion. “Not at all, everyone wanted to do it, even some of our kids joined in. We’re just one big family,” Jodi Nixon said.
Starplex Cinema Manager Tammy Kromer told KSAL News that 400 tickets sold for the first shows, selling out two theaters.
The setting for this movie takes place 30 years after “Return of the Jedi” and brings back the core characters of the original series, including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia.
And how was it? Everyone that KSAL News talked to afterwards loved it, including Gerrett Morris and his wife Ann Marie. They both said that they “were blown away.”
Gerrett said “I didn’t get to see a Kansas City Royals World Series game this year, I missed the Garth Brooks concerts in Wichita, but I didn’t miss this Star Wars and I’m glad for that.” Ann Marie said she’s ready to see it again. “Oh yeah, I might skip work tomorrow,” she chuckled.
The Dollar General gang also loved it, and said there was only 1 way to sum it up. “may the Force be with you” they said in unison.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is expected to smash box office records.