On Tuesday, May 17th, Sam and Emmy joined us for our 7pm showing of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. The DVD is an extended version, so it was a little longer than we had expected. It had been a long time since I had seen the movie, and I was surprised at how sensitive I was with Jar Jar again, being that I had seen it several times before and that Jar Jar had, to a certain extent, become background noise. Ugh, he's just so utterly ridiculous. Being the absolutely best part of the movie, the Darth Maul duel was fantastic to see again. That night, we treated ourselves to the M&M's, chips, dips, and yummy honey mustard pretzels.
On Wednesday, May 18th, Geoff joined us for a double feature of Episode 2: Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars, the animated series. We were going to show Episode 4: A New Hope, but it was just too late by the time we finished The Clone Wars. This time, aside from the M&M's, we treated ourselves to yummy Thai food. Geoff devoured his in no time, while I ate at a consistent pace for about twenty minutes. With both Episodes 1 and 2, we occasionally paused the movie to discuss and confirm plot lines. But for Episode 2, there was definitely more chatter during the movie, mostly about Padme's "Let's just be friends" clothing. Bringing some healthy treats, Sam joined us with about 15 minutes left in Episode 2, coming from a crepe-making dinner.
We weren't sure about seeing The Clone Wars beforehand, but for anyone who hasn't seen Episode 3 yet, we highly recommend renting/buying the DVD. Because only volume 1 is on DVD, you'll have to watch the last five chapters (volume 2) online at http://www.starwars.com/clonewars/. It takes about 2 hours to watch both volumes. Not only is the animation done very well, but the overall series complements the movies so perfectly, describing the events that happen between Episodes 2 and 3. LOTS of action. After watching volume 1, we hooked up Geoff's computer, on which he downloaded volume 2, to one of our monitors to watch the last 5 chapters in full screen.
It was around 12:30am when we finished, a half hour into Episode 3 for those who went to see the midnight showing. Brian said that ten theaters at the Loews Boston Common, where we watch most of our movies, were being used for the midnight showing. Crrrraaaazy.
The big day: Thursday, May 19th
We bought our tickets on May 7th for the 5:40pm DIGITAL (DLP) show. There were only a limited number of shows for the digital version, and the time we chose was at the matinee price, so it was a double bonus for us when we got them. I got to the theater at 3:45pm, expecting a line to be there already since the last digital show was at 2:20pm. A line had already formed, and I asked if it was for the 5:40pm show. People on line were like, "No, it's for the 4:20pm show..." Oookaaay. So much for that. After talking with Elmer for a little bit, I called Brian around 4:00pm who was half a block away from the theater with Geoff. We headed back to area where the line was, and the 4:20pm folks were already let in. There were about 12 people waiting on line for the 5:40pm show. Who knows, they could have been there the entire time...
Anyways, it was good we got there early, for the line grew steadily soon after. We were entertained with the variety of Star Wars music that was playing overhead. Brian said that in the men's bathroom, there was a commercial being played for a Star Wars Christmas CD with treats like Chewbacca's "Silent Night" and Yoda's "Twelve Days of Christmas."
Sam and Emmy later joined us in line, and we watched as the 2:20pm crowd walked by. For the most part, there were smiling, chatty faces. A good sign, perhaps. We tried to avoid hearing any chatter by talking amongst ourselves and by humming, at least I did (Brian and I both avoided reading anything or even watching the trailer after seeing it just one time way back when...and while we can mute our TV, it was played during the previews for several movies we had recently gone to, so even though we closed our eyes, we still heard the audio...yes, we're freaks).
Brian was really adamant about getting seats in the third or fourth row in the main section, and when we entered the theater, the people ahead of us had taken the fourth row center, so we took the third row. The theater was smaller than expected, but we had prime seating. Jonathan joined us a few minutes later, with the theater already pretty full, and our row completely filled, except for his seat in the center. We shared amongst ourselves Twizzlers, M&M's (both milk/Jedi and dark/Sith chocolate), and Reese's pieces, which I haven't had in ages and tasted really good..."Eeeeeteeee phhhooooone hoooome."
We waited three long years for this, and it seemed like we were going to wait just a wee bit longer. They never showed the "Thank you for coming to Loews, sit back and relax, enjoy the show" nor any commercials, but they did show LOTS previews, and a man in front of us was freaking out every time the green preview rating would pop up. It was hilarious. We saw previews for (in no particular order):
War of the Worlds
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Da Vinci Code
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
The Pink Panther
...and finally, the familiar sound of 20th Century Fox drums and trumpets soon followed the last trailer as the audience burst into clapping and cheers...
I went in with giddiness and excitement, and as the opening scroll of words appeared, I felt like, "Wow, this is it."
All I have to say is that this movie is an emotional rollercoaster that doesn't disappoint, from a fantastic opening scene to a powerful, tear-jerking conclusion. Makes you question who you should be routing for. And basically knowing what's going to happen, the experience becomes so tragic. Watching as the credits roll at the end, I was left with a sense of sadness and finality, because even though the quality of the movie makes up for the last two and that it closes the gap in the storyline, the saga has finally ended. Geoff quite appropriately said that they should come out with an animated series for the time between Episode 3 and 4.
Afterwards, we all went to dinner at Bennigan's to contemplate and hopefully reverse the gross effects we were experiencing from all the candy we just ate.
Like the last two, Brian and I will be making our multiple theater visits in the upcoming weeks, as we complete our revolution and watch the last 3 episodes just to make our way back to Episode 1 and repeat the cycle.
A short random addition: No spoilers here, just some clapping from the end of the movie that I captured, combined with photos from Yahoo!
Like Jonathan said, "...this is the official end of my youth."
p.s. "Sith Destroys Single Day Record" with $50,013,859