Because I'm a Star Wars Fan
To celebrate my history as a super nerd, and to celebrate the opening of the very last film in the “Skywalker Saga”, I thought I would post a little bit of history regarding my adventures in line for the Star Wars prequels over 20 years ago.
On May 2, 1999 I decided to stop by the Century 21 Theater in San Jose, California and start waiting in line for Star Wars: Episode 1. This was not unexpected, as I was a well known fan of Star Wars ever since I saw the first film on opening day in 1977, but this case was a bit different.
The film didn’t open for 2 more weeks.
I had seen every film on opening day and I didn’t want this one to be any different. I was worried that I would not be able to get tickets, and therefore decent seats, so I dropped my butt in front of the theater and felt out the overall atmosphere regarding a 2-week wait in a parking lot.
The theater management didn’t seem to have any issues regarding our being there. We were welcome to stay as long as we didn’t make a mess or interfere with existing showings of the films. They actually made a few bucks on the side because we would run in throughout the day and buy snacks (and use the restrooms). Everybody wins!
About two hours after I first sat down, a few folks passed by and saw me sitting there. They stopped to check out the line status and became the second group. From there, the line grew exponentially. After a few days, we were the leaders of several hundred people all waiting for the opening of the most iconic film to be released int he last decade.
Say what you will about the prequels, we loved them. not only were we treated to a whole new series of stories detailing the histories of our favorite characters, we also were given an affirmation that we did indeed still live in a world where Star Wars films were being made. We loved our time in line and that made us love the films even more.
I waited in line for Episode II and also Episode III (for 3 and 4 weeks respectively). Although none of those experiences could recreate the magic we created during our Episode I stint, they were fun and exciting in their own way. TechTV, the prominent national technology cable channel of the day, visited us and showcased our efforts in a segment on the Episode II line. We were captured for posterity.
I am past my ability to wait in line the way I used to when I was much younger. In an age of internet pre-ordered tickets and seats, I’m not sure what purpose a movie camp-out would serve anyway. Now that Episode IX is about to premiere, I will sit in my luxury recliner with my Wife, Son and Daughter and be content that I was able to live the dream a few times.
Happy Holidays, and I hope you love your movie nights!