With a new entry of the Star Wars franchise making billions at the box office, it’s safe to say that The Force Awakens has brought in a new fanbase. Of course die hard fans have seen it multiple times, but it’s clear that this Episode will introduce Star Wars to an all new audience that may have never known the pleasure of enjoying the originals as children. The Force Awakens will be the first Star Wars experience for a lot of newly found fans, and that alone is interesting to think about.

Megan is a fellow blogger, and close friend, that has never had an interest in the original trilogy. She knows of the characters, but has never seen any of the films. In other words, she was interested in seeing what the craze was over more than seeing the film itself. But after seeing it, Megan was kind enough to share her thoughts on her first Star Wars experience with us.

Here are her thoughts from a first time viewer’s perspective.

A New Star Wars Fan
By Megan Walter

I’m one of the few who managed to avoid watching Star Wars as a kid. Even though I was born in the 80s, we didn’t have a VCR. So I missed out on catching those iconic movies from the late 70s and 80s. ET? Never seen it. Back to the Future? Nope. I knew of these movies from pop culture, I could vaguely speak about their importance, but I never sat down to watch them until recently.

When news of the Star Wars sequel was announced, my fiancé forced, encouraged me to watch the originals so I could enjoy the new trilogy and not get hung up on inside jokes and references to the original movies. (Episodes 1, 2, and 3 were, apparently, not to be spoken of.) However, episodes 4, 5, and 6 just couldn’t keep my attention.

So The Force Awakens came out and I decided to see it during its opening weekend. (I didn’t want to miss out on the craze.) I went in having no prior expectations about the story or its characters. I walked out a new fan. Here’s why:

1. Finn and Poe’s Bromance. It’s very heartwarming to see these men learn to trust and depend on each other out of the simple need for survival. There was no competition between these men, and it was important to see that yes, there are people, even strangers you can count on.

2. Rey’s a Badass. It’s awesome to see a female character both strong and vulnerable. She clearly can take care of herself, as she’s been doing her whole life. Her light saber game is on point. But the friendship she is developing with Finn is interesting to watch.

3. Kylo Ren as Villain. Each generation has a villain. Will Kylo Ren be the one for the millennials? He is willing to kill for power. He has no problem engaging the dark side to get what he wants. I look back over this past year and some of the egregious things that have happened when certain people gain power. For example, the guy who raised the life-saving anti-viral drug from about 13 dollars a pill to over 700 dollars. Or the “affluenza” teen who, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, fled to Mexico to avoid his consequence of breaking his parole. His parole for killing 4 people while drunk driving and only earning parable is proof, for me, that the dark side exists! It’s clear that Kylo Ren is a villain for the times we live in. I wonder what the future has in store for him.

4. The Resistance. We live in turbulent times. When people stand up for their rights, whether it’s against police brutality, the right to choose, or reactionary policies, they are forming a sort of resistance that, as I was watching The Force Awakens, could see parallels. I wonder if, in future movies, they will make a stronger connection between what’s happening in society and what’s happening in a galaxy far, far away.

Having made a billion dollars, the new Star Wars franchise is going to be around for a long time. I think that’s good as there’s a whole new generation who can connect over a love for the resistance defeating the dark side. Isn’t that what we, as people, have been trying to do all along?

Megan Walter is the creator of Awkward Librarian, a blog about her experiences as a teacher, and as a grad school student in Library and Information Sciences.