I was surprised to find there were over a hundred people stretched out along the sidewalk by the posted movie signs and posters; some with chairs, others playing cards, there was even a coffee table. Now there's someone prepared for the long haul. This brought back some of the excitement of waiting to see The Phantom Menace with the added bonus of actually knowing the people in line next to me. -- My line mates for TPM played cards for most of the day, one of those games like bridge or pinochle that I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever. --We chatted, played our Game Boys, and watched other people all this while and the time didn't feel like four hours at all.
A camera crew showed up for one of the local networks and started setting up. One fellow (whose name I never did get) started asking people who wanted to duel light sabers for the cameras. After his first subject gave up I volunteered and, seeing as he had quite a bit more sword fighting experience than I, asked for some pointers. He was quite good and I tried to work with everything he taught me in that short space of time until crabmoon and Tick arrived and she disabled me from behind with a hug. We let them join us in line which gave Matt, Jeff and myself to head out to Rocky's for a quick take-out dinner.
Camera crews for at least three networks showed up during the evening: NBC, ABC and UPN. I'm surprised FOX didn't join in since their station is just a block or so away. I made it on television for at least one of them during the great light saber battle. I'm standing there like an idiot doing nothing because there weren't enough swords. Another five seconds toward my fifteen minutes of fame.
As dusk fell, so did a light rain, which didn't really bother me at first but standing in it for over an hour made me wish I hadn't gone to put the umbrella back in my car earlier. We all got wet but no one seemed to mind. Excitement was in the air.
The final moment came after ten when they finally opened the doors to us and theater security neatly stilled the mad rush inside. Tick and Lindsay vanished as soon as Matt and I showed our tickets and, not being in the same theater, saw no more of them for a couple days. We found good seats in the ultra screen theater and I hung my jacket to dry while playing Matt's Activision Classics GB cart while he made fun of the lame movie trivia displayed on screen. Again, time passed quickly and it wasn't long before the trailers began. I don't remember all of them, just for the Narnia Chronicles and War of the Worlds, both of which I must see on the big screen. But anyway...
The movie was great. I was expecting it to be better than the previous two but this is the best of the three hands-down. The dialog I suppose wasn't the best and there were a couple of action sequences that could have been cut short by 10 minutes. I smacked my forehead when Ben said the famous line "I've got a bad feeling about this" within the first five minutes and again when I heard the Wilhelm scream a couple minutes later. (It's in every Star Wars film, just listen.) But it's rich in story and character development for poor Anikin as he is steadily lured in by the "dark side" of the force.
There are a few points I'd like to ponder:
- Having visions of Padme's death with the birth of their children, Anikin searches desperately for a way to save her. Palpatine's suggestion that the Sith have powers
some consider to be "sploitz"to prevent or reverse the deathing process lures him in. At this point Ani knows this is a potentially bad idea but eventually succombs to to the Sithy sweet-talk. It's too bad he didn't consider that the Jedi or perhaps their own modern medical science may have ways to help Padme. Like, oh, say... a cesarian??
- Why would a robot (ok, a cyborg) have bronchitis when he obviously doesn't have lungs?
- This was the first time I've ever been to a movie where people applauded a hallway. A HALLWAY.
- It was neat to see and hear some familiar effects, which foreshadows the technology we eventually see in IV: A New Hope. But I still can't get used to the idea of an X-Wing prototype sounding like a TIE fighter.
- It was neat to see clips of Luke and Leia playing together as children toward the end, and learning where they really came from.
- The best part for me, was finding out that Luke WASN'T, in fact, Anikin's son, but was created in a manner not unlike himself. It's the ultimate double-twist for those that were blown away by the revelation in V: The Empire Strikes Back. It makes Darth's final outreach to "family" and self-sacrifice all the more tragic in the last installment. Wow!
It was a night I'm going to remember for quite a while, and one which apparently took me a week to
For now, I should retire. Oh wait, I said that already, didn't I? All the better to go now and try not to sleep again until noon. Yeesh.
- J I M O U T -