The beat is getting stronger as we enter May and approach the May 19th premiere of the sixth and final installment in George Lucas’s cinematic Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid and Samuel L. Jackson.
Joining the Hollywood crowd, which has already been in line for a month outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, fans from 22 US states and nine foreign countries including Japan, Peru and Brazil, lined up outside NYC’s Ziegfeld cinema on Saturday.
Fans are excited yet wistful to see the film that concludes the series. Chris Bergoch told the BBC that “It’s kind of bittersweet; it’s the last one which makes it more emotional. “You want to look forward to the movie, but then again you almost don’t want [to] since there won’t be another one again.”
As with the Hollywood bunch, the New Yorker’s time in line is helping to raise money for the children’s charity Starlight Starbright. Sponsors pledge a sum to the charity for every hour that each participant spends in line. Registration to join the line is open until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 8 – rules are here.
In other premiere news, last weekend London’s Empire Cinema in Leicester Square sold out the 1,000 “Galactic Passports” for a showing of all six Star Wars movies in succession on May 16. The marathon begins at 7 am and concludes with Revenge of the Sith.
We did a little preparation ourselves for the big event, picking up the DVD box set of the original Star Wars films and watching them over the weekend. It had been many many years for me, and though the original ’77 film (now called Episode IV, A New Hope) felt a bit thin and clunky, more like an outline than an actual movie, but it set up the mythos for the series and captured the imagination of the world.
The other two (Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI, Return of the Jedi) were actually much better than I remembered, with Episode V coming out slightly ahead in terms of excitement, plotting, character development and tone. The creatures and settings are wondrous and compelling in each, ranging from asteroid fields in space, to sub-arctic, Saharan, swampy, and the heavily forested on various planets and moons.
And Jabba the Hutt’s milieu is believable, shocking, dangerous, revolting and hilarious all at once (dig Carrie Fisher’s fetching captive outfit!).
After two disappointments, let us hope Revenge of the Sith lives up to the standards of the original trilogy.
Full coverage of the final Star Wars epic here.