Volume 93, Issue 2

Friday, May 21, 1999


The Phantom Menace is phucking phantastic

The line up: A first hand account

Galactic technology, talk and toys

Party's place in the music world is their cup of tea

Midsummer's is a mid-size success

Ron Sexsmith gets fresh

The line up: A first hand account

By Christina Vardanis
Gazette Staff

As the saga of Star Wars returned to the big screen in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, another kind of saga raged just outside the theatre.

When I arrived at the Galleria Cineplex at around 8 p.m. Tuesday, four hours before the 12:01 a.m. Wednesday start time, I was greeted with a massive line up already in place to grab the best seats for the historic first screening. As it turns out, there was enough character and atmosphere in this line up to make it an event unto itself.

Ticket holders began their journey just after noon, arriving at the Galleria Cineplex with pillows, magazines and take out in tow. As one wandered down the line, the enthusiasm was instantly contagious. Character look-alikes were peeking out of the crowd, every hand was holding light sabers, or some kind of movie paraphernalia and the excitement so obvious in everyone's eyes filtered through the crowd like laughing gas.

One thoughtful group had the foresight to bring their own television, VCR and copy of Star Wars, Episode IV to pass away the hours. To see a group of people huddled on a cold tile floor, eyes glued to a tiny screen, reciting lines, eating chips from a bagEpisode I covers was somehow comforting. A scene resembling this one with any other kind of subject matter may have seemed unnerving, but this was nothing but innocent – a group of people with a common childhood need to see good destroy evil.

Just as the ever expanding line began to get restless, a group of young men decided to provide some extra entertainment, courtesy of Fatboy Slim.

It only took a second for the "Praise You" catch phrase "We've come a long, long way together" to direct everyone's attention to the troop, performing their version of the now famous video in an empty corner of the mall. Remaining quite serious in the number's execution, it was clear this posse had rehearsed their B-Boy moves to get them just right and they delivered a performance which was perfectly flawed.

The only truly negative aspect of the wait came as a result of people selfishly trying to get ahead in line. Latecomers were hanging around, squeezing their way into the middle of the line when they thought no one was looking. As well, when people saw friends in line, they took that as an invitation to join them at whatever spot they had, regardless their time of arrival. I had one such group bud in front of me at approximately 11 p.m.. After a brief confrontation which ended in a rather rude comment directed towards myself and my friend, I found myself truly disappointed these people couldn't understand our frustration over coming three hours early, only to have our spots displaced by ignorance.

However, one member of this group took the time to scribble a note to my friend and I, apologizing for his friend's actions. This simple act of courtesy was enough reinforce the feeling of community within the line and restore our faith that greediness has little place within the legacy of Star Wars.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999