For some people it’s just another big movie. For others, it’s the most important cultural event in the history of important cultural events. Ever. Like, ever-ever.

On opening day of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the Star Tribune hosted a live video chat with a panel of experts — we dubbed them the Geek High Council.

Our three panelists then went out to see the Sequel to End All Sequels on Thursday night, and gave us their non-spoiler, immediate superfan reaction. Repeat: non-spoiler. There are no spoilers here. Calm down. OK, moving on.


Geek cred: Co-host of “Your Geek Show” podcast, comedian, radio host at Go 96.3 FM.

Twitter: @MissShannan

Superfan reaction: “As far as what I wanted to see as a fan — it gave me everything. After the end credits began to roll, I looked over at my boyfriend, and I had no complaints. I have questions. But they’re the right kind of questions that get me excited for the next movie. The torch has been passed. [Director] J.J. Abrams was pruning a bush and sometimes you have to cut off some flowers. I thought the pruning he did made sense. Mainly, I was thinking: Don’t mess this up. I’m relieved that there wasn’t one character that I couldn’t stand. There was nobody who was overtly cutesy like Jar Jar.”

Where it ranks: No. 3 of the 7 “Star Wars’ episodes. “I enjoyed it more than “Return of the Jedi.” But ‘Empire’ and ‘New Hope’ are my emotional favorites.”


Geek cred: 501st Legion Stormtrooper and public relations officer for the Central Garrison (and Minnesota Wolf Pack Squad Leader). He’s also a rapper specializing in “Star Wars” hip-hop (stage name is Versifier and he is part of Manifesters).

Twitter: @VerseManifest

Superfan reaction: “Honestly, I’m just very neutral. I thought it was fun and entertaining. I thought it was a good movie. It just didn’t feel like a good ‘Star Wars’ movie. I’m probably in the minority. It almost seemed like a reboot. If it wasn’t for intertwining the original trilogy characters, it would feel like a total reboot. It just didn’t do for me what the other six films did. At all. Which is a little disappointing. But I will say that Daisy Ridley was fantastic. Her performance was amazing. But the film didn’t feel like it was part of the saga. It’s a shame. It kind of felt like a piece of your childhood was taken away from you.”

Where it ranks: “Last. Definitely, last.”


Geek cred: Host of Books & Bars, producer at Minnesota Public Radio.

Twitter: @jefe23

Superfan reaction: “I’m breathing a sigh of relief. I was really surprised at how much it echoed Episodes 4 and 5. It was doing that ‘Star Wars’ poetry thing. My first reaction was A-. It’s hard for me to admit this right now, but it might be as good as ‘Return of the Jedi.’ People get really excited for the big Marvel movies. But when you actually get to see a brand-new ‘Star Wars’ in the theater — there’s a difference. You could hear a pin drop in the theater. I’m more relieved and surprised that there’s less things I can nitpick. The emotional pull in this one is strong. There’s nothing like Jar Jar or the Ewoks to get annoyed with. I can’t wait to go back for more.”

Where it ranks: “It might be tied for third place with ‘Return of the Jedi.’ ‘Empire’ and ‘A New Hope’ are first and second.

Check out their contributions to our Geek High Council.

Twitter: @tomhorgen • 612-673-7909