>>> The News: JAY KAY!
By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
May 18, 2005

The real news (for boring people)
The breakdown (for college people)

Hardcore ‘Star Wars' Fans Await Opening

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Russ Rolle and his friends have been taking turns since May 8 saving a spot along a busy street so they could get choice seats for the opening of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”

Which is funny because on on May 17, a day before it came out, they were still the only people in line. And what's funnier is that their favorite seats are first row in the corner.

“This is a big event for all of us,” the 23-year-old student said Wednesday outside one of the largest theaters in Southern California.

“Well…not all of us. Just us nerds. And SOME dweebs. And the occasional geek.”

Rolle's wristband identified him as No. 7 in line for one of the 1,200 seats in the theater for the sold-out 12:01 a.m. Thursday show. He was among two dozen people holding places for friends and relatives.

SO IS THAT IT?! THEY'RE JUST NUMBERS!? YOU KNOW THESE NERDS HAVE NAMES! Granted all their names are “Dwight.” BUT THEY'RE STILL NAMES.

In Boston, the entire 16-person staff of a Web development intended to see the film in an outing paid for by the company — popcorn and soda included.

I bet that's a 17-person web development staff and that last guy really really dreads going to work. Especially on Thursday, the day after Star Wars comes out.

Stan Miller, the president and chief executive of Miller Systems Inc., said the tradition began with “Phantom Menace” in 1999. The tradition even comes up during job interviews, he said.

“Our health benefits include—NAAHHH ACTUALLY!!! What is this I hear about a STAR WARS FIELD TRIP?! I'LL WORK FOR FREE IF I HAVE TO!”

Many fans who couldn't bear the thought of a bad seat began camping out well in advance. At the Newport Beach theater, a second line formed Tuesday for the slightly less obsessed.

WHAT THE HELL!?!?! Oh I'm sorry, I thought that line said “slightly less obese.”

“You want to prove that you're a serious fan by being the first to watch it,” said Luis Linares, a 34-year-old government worker.

“You know, prove to your significant other that maybe she made the wrong decision.”

Like others, Linares and Rolle passed the time watching portable DVDs, reading and chatting with friends and fellow fans, some of whom dressed in “Star Wars” costumes. Several said they've seen the movies more times than they can count.

That's also true of people who have seen the movie once, and can't count at all. So…

“There's a real sense of community attached to it,” Rolle said. “It's a time to be around people who are just like you.”

Ironically, Rolle's middle name is “Diversity.”

Don Trim, an accountant, got into the spirit by dressing in the khaki-colored tunic, leather boots and belt of a Jedi master.

Yes. I want this man doing my taxes. IN FACT, I want this man doing everybody's taxes. For the rest of his godforsaken life.

“I'm not as excited as a little kid but I'm still pretty excited,” said Trim, 53, who recalled waiting in line for the first “Star Wars” in 1977. “It's a way of staying young, having fun.”

“That's right. Donald R. Trim. My kids go to school at Westpark Elementary: Michael and Sarah Trim. Can you put my picture in your newspaper? They'll be so proud of their father,” Donald said, days before his kids killed themselves…and each other.

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