'Star Wars" fever descends on Tampa Bay

- The hype around 'Star Wars: the Force Awakens' has grown to Death Star like proportions. 

Thursday fans at the AMC Veterans 24 lined up around the building for its 7 p.m. release. 

Many were dressed as their favorite characters, including Calvin Dillon who is a certified Jedi, and a teacher. 

He says he uses his powers for good with his students:  "The mind control, you don't want to go to the bathroom, you do want to write this essay," he joked.

Other fans saw this as a way to connect with their families.

"This is something I started with my dad, so I get to take my kids, and my dad gets to watch, it's a generational thing," said Jay Patel.

For all the hype and hoopla, does the film actually live up to it? 

CW44 Film critic T.M. Powell says yes.  "This is the Star Wars we grew up with starting in 1977.  'The Force Awakens' is a nostalgic trip back to those movies, and fees like those movies, and is good like those movies," he said.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • 'Star Wars" fever descends on Tampa Bay
  • Boys death leads to positive change in University Area
  • Gas pump skimmers keep popping up across Bay Area
  • Robert's Christmas Wonderland is a winter wonderland 365 days a year
  • Clerk recognized attempted robber as frequent customer, deputies say
  • Fugate says Floridians should brace for stronger hurricanes
  • Airmen return from Middle East just in time for holidays
  • Cadets lay wreaths at Bay Pines National Cemetery
  • Head-on crash kills both drivers, injures child
  • Boats light up for Treasure Island's favorite parade