05/19/05 — Start of final Star Wars film greeted with cheers

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Start of final Star Wars film greeted with cheers

By Winkie Lee
Published in News on May 19, 2005 1:45 PM

"Oh. It begins."

The message was shouted out by a member of the audience as the house lights dimmed for the midnight premiere of "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith."

More than 500 people attended the screening at Premiere Theatres. Over at the Berkeley Four Carmike Cinemas, people also were lining up to see the movie.

The film is the last in the prequel trilogy and the sixth "Star Wars" movie director George Lucas has made. It is also expected to be the last "Star Wars" film.

In theater seven at the Premiere -- the film was also being shown in theaters six and eight -- several people began saying "Shhhh" after the previews ended and the movie was about to begin.

As the familiar "Star Wars" music played, the shushes turned to cheers and applause.

For the next two hours and 26 minutes, moviegoers watched as Anakin Skywalker abandoned the Jedi ideals and slipped over to the dark side to become the evil Darth Vader.

"It was fantastic," Justin Newman of Pikeville said after the show. "I wasn't a huge fan of the first and second films, but this made me appreciate them more."

The first two had to build up to the story in this one, he said.

"It was pretty good," Jessica Davis of Pikeville said. "It cleared up a lot of things."

She now wants to watch the first and second movies, "to see what I missed."

"This was the best one of the three," said Mick Price of Goldsboro. "There were very good fight scenes."

John Keith and Matthew Randles, both of Goldsboro, also liked the film's action sequences.

"There was more action in this one than in the first and second," Randles said.

"It was astonishing," said Christopher Roman of Goldsboro. "It was nothing less than I had expected."

The people in attendance were expecting a good time.

"George Lucas has never made a bad film," said Krystal Carr of Goldsboro.

"I was 19 when I saw the first 'Star Wars'," said Richard Wiggs of Walnut Creek.

As he waited to see "Revenge of the Sith," he was accompanied by his son, Matt, who is 19.

Steven Andrews of Goldsboro was introduced to "Star Wars" through his father's videotapes of the first trilogy.

"Dad was a big fan, so I watched them," he said.

A love for "Star Wars" brought people to the theater. But why not wait until the usual showtimes? Why attend at midnight?

"There's just something about being one of the first to see it," said Ty Johnson, a Rosewood community resident who was dressed as a Jedi. "'Star Wars' is like an international, huge event."

"I want to be one of the first to see the movie because it could be the last one," said Kyle Bunn of Pikeville.

Bunn wore a Darth Vader helmet and voice box and said he has seen the other five "Star Wars" films about 350 times.

Brittney Fraser of Goldsboro said it would be practically un-American to not see the movie.

"It's just a part of the culture," she said.

Dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Stephen Tart of the Rosewood community said he and his friends celebrated "Revenge of the Sith" by watching the other five films last Saturday.

As they waited to enter the theater, people enjoyed looking at the costumes worn by fellow moviegoers.

Alex Black, the swim coach at the Family YMCA, was unrecognizable in his bounty hunter uniform and helmet. The costume is one of his favorites from "Star Wars" because "it's more fun to look at ... There's a myriad of color."

Black took a six-month sculpture class so he could make the costume.

Jason Demartino of Goldsboro attracted attention when he entered the lobby wearing his storm trooper uniform. He purchased an assembly kit and spent about three months constructing the costume and helmet.

The outfit is about a year and a half old, and needed some repairs before he went to see "Revenge of the Sith."

Friend Elizabeth O'Shaughnessy of Snow Hill helped.

Gary Moore of Pikeville attended in a Darth Vader costume.

In addition to the clothes, there were also light sabers.

Julian Delgadillo of Goldsboro brought a Force FX Light Saber, the kind used by Anakin Skywalker in the movie, and which Delgadillo purchased in celebration of the film.

"This is probably the only time I can take it out in public and not be made fun of," he said, smiling.