May 18, 2005 

Can't wait for The Force

Final Star Wars film attracts rabid fans to midnight showing


By Emanuel Parker, Staff Writer


PASADENA -- For Martin Figueroa, being one of the first people in line Wednesday at Pasadena's Pacific Hastings Theatres to see the midnight screening of the last "Star Wars' movie was a matter of closure.

"I was born in 1972 and the first time I saw 'Star Wars Episode 4,' I was a 4-year-old back in '76,' said the 32-year- old Los Angeles resident. "I've been waiting 28 years for closure on this.'

"Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith' screened at midnight across the country and locally at several theaters, including the Hastings, Paseo Stadium 14, Monrovia Cinema 12 and Santa Anita 16.

Equipped with a sleeping bag, folding chair, food and drinks, Figueroa and a couple of friends got in line behind Janelle and Genaro Cabrera, a sister and brother from Los Angeles, who spread a blanket on the ground and claimed the first spot shortly before 4 p.m.

"The last time we came with three hours to spare and the line was down the block and around the corner already,' said Janelle, 23. "So we figured we're out of school already so why not just come down and hang out here?'

"We don't like having bad seats so the best way to get the best seats is to be first,' said Genaro, 21. "The best seats are right in the middle, not too far away and not too close.'

The theater manager said they'd sold about 500 tickets for the movie in the big theater, which seats more than 1,000 people. Both Cabreras said they came to the Hastings because they like seeing "Star Wars' on its big screen.

"I'm anxious to see how this one turns out,' Janelle said. "I hope it answers a lot of the questions.' She and Genaro said "Return of the Jedi' is their favorite "Star Wars' movie and both of them have seen it more than 50 times.

"I like all the fantasy behind it,' said Janelle, a Pasadena City College business major.

"George Lucas is ahead of his time, obviously. He's so creative and so imaginative that it pretty much pulls you into his world and lets you get away from reality for 2 1/2 hours,' she said.

Figueroa said he spoiled the movie's surprises by reading the script on the Internet.

"The last two hours of this movie are going to be so incredible when it comes to editing and the dialogue between (Chancellor) Palpatine and Anakin (Skywalker),' he said.

"This movie is depressing. It's the most tragic movie of all time. I don't plan on walking out of here with my head up high. I know what to expect and I know how it ends, and that's all that matters,' Figueroa said.