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Latest Star Wars flick seems to be a big hit with the fans

It was the opening weekend for the latest film in one of the highest grossing movie franchises of all time, and many Oxford residents went to the Malco theater in the old mall on Jackson Avenue to relive their childhood and watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

There were even some Star Wars fans from out of state who caught the movie this weekend.

James Kelleway, 32, who is originally from England, said he enjoyed the film.

“I thought it was great,” he said. “It was a return to form.”

Kelleway said he felt the film was well written and well paced.

“Overall, it was great,” he said. “It was the right mix of action and storyline without ever feeling like it dragged at any point.”

Florida native Michael Long, 38, said he approves of the film.

“It was hyped pretty big beforehand, and I think it lived up to it,” he said.

Long said he enjoyed seeing some of the original actors in the new movie.

“Harrison Ford still looks like Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher still look pretty much the same, just older,” he said.

Pearl native Sid Maxey, 38, became a Star Wars fan as a child.

The Mission Viejo, California, resident also enjoyed the new film.

“I thought it was solid,” he said. “It was a good fresh start.”

Maxey said he was too young to see the first two original Star Wars films, but he did see “Return of the Jedi” in the movie theater.

He enjoyed the fact that the movie bridged the new and original films.

“I thought (director) J.J. Abrams did a really good job of using a lot of the same themes that were in Episode IV,” he said. “It just felt like an updated version.”

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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