With the collective pop culture blood of the country up right now with the latest “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trailer, I wanted to take this column to talk about something near and dear to me. Something that’s been a massive part of my life since I was six years old: Star Wars, of course.

The Star Wars series has been a constant force for good in my life. It’s been a calming presence for me when I feel upset, and it’s a fantastical escape that lets me forget about the world and its problems for awhile. But I’ve found something else in Star Wars: a community of people who are welcoming, passionate and kind.

This year I took my first trip to Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Fla. It’s the biggest Star Wars convention in the country, and all the big stars from the films and TV shows come out, as well as tens of thousands of people. I was a bit intimidated. It was my first time at any convention ever, and my first time in a costume that a buddy of mine helped put together.

But upon arriving and walking the floor, it was like coming home and being surrounded by long lost friends. Besides being asked for a seemingly endless amount of photos (my costume was a hit) and asking hundreds of others in absolutely incredible costumes in return, I was struck by how much passion and more importantly, compassion, that everyone had at the convention.

There was no such thing as strangers, and every barrier came down almost immediately. We were all there for the same reason, and we all could talk for hours. Numbers and Facebooks were exchanged, hugs were given, and compliments flooded the hall. It was such an overwhelmingly positive and just fun atmosphere that it was truly like I had stepped into an alternate dimension for a few days. One where the sorrows and stresses and divisions of the world melted away and were replaced by camaraderie, adventure, pure fun and unabashed joy.

Now granted, this was all in a very concentrated environment designed around Star Wars fans. But with the release of the new trailer, I was flooded with texts from friends, excited Facebook posts and snapchats, and a deluge of YouTube reaction videos that made me smile every time.

And its not just “nerds” or “geeks” who feel anticipation. Star Wars is cool again, and everyone is getting in on the hype and build up. It’s a collective piece of pop culture that, unlike anything I’ve ever seen, brings people together, if only for a moment in time, over something truly good in this world. Something that brings smiles and excitement and daydreams and theories from everyone and anyone.

Of course there are people who don’t like ‘Star Wars’ and there are those who detract from the fun of the franchise. But when a new trailer is released or a new movie opens, it almost seems like the world puts aside its differences and comes together in the name of a beautiful fantasy. And we all travel, if only for a while, to a galaxy, far, far away.

Motion.Picture.Soundtrack is a weekly column by Whig Accent editor Kris Kielich discussing all things worth knowing in the world of music, movies and pop culture. At least in his humble opinion. You can reach him at kkielich@chespub.com.

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