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Fans Gear Up For 'Sith' Premiere

Star Wars movie fans Luke Skinner, left, and Joshua Creech stage a pretend light saber battle in the parking lot of the Carmike 10 theater in Great Falls, Mont., while waiting for tickets to go on sale for premier of "Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith" Wednesday, May 18, 2005. The movie will be shown on two screens at 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning.
AP
For millions of "Star Wars" fans, the force will be with them one last time. Starting at midnight Thursday, movie theaters nationwide will begin showing "Stars Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," the eagerly anticipated finale of the popular space saga.

Across the country, fans lined up outside movie theatres. Some skipped work, others school, to be among the first to see how Anakin Skywalker gets seduced by the dark side.

"Revenge of the Sith" completes George Lucas' prequel trilogy about the roots of Anakin Skywalker — and how he turned into the villainous Darth Vader.

In Maine, Michael Cotnoir planned to be at the opening dressed as C3PO, the protocol droid. He'll be covering himself in gold paint.

Rob Hyssong, one of the Mainers who already had his ticket for the film's midnight premiere, was going to an extreme. He's flying to Los Angeles to see the movie with his brother and sister.

Dozens of people have been lined up outside the Uptown theatre in Northwest, Washington, some for days. One camper told The Washington Times it used to be because that was the only way you could get tickets. Vance Rego said he camps out now because it's "such a good time."

In Seattle, fans lined up in the rain outside the Cinerama theater. One, Jeff Tweiten, claimed first place in line four months ago.

People magazine's senior editor Jess Cagle, who's seen the movie, told CBS' Early Show Wednesday, "You can arguably say this is the best of the six.

"I think you could safely say that. I think the purists who love the first one, might argue that there was something more pure about those."

In London Monday, CBS News Correspondent Mark Phillips reported fans lined up for an unprecedented, all-day event, a marathon screening of all six Star Wars episodes, including "Episode III."

Early it was, and dedicated, the fans were, Phillips said.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," noticed one fan.

"It's like a religion," said another.

"This is great. Can't wait," said yet another.

They had come from long, long ago and some from a galaxy far, far away. Well, Germany, anyway, Phillips noted.

"It's the biggest thing ever," a German fan observed. "Seeing all six movies together. It's just awesome."

Last week, hundreds of "Star Wars" fanatics, from San Francisco to New York, turned out in 10 cities, paying up to $500 apiece to attend a special screening.

A red carpet lined the side of the Sony Metreon theater in San Francisco and volunteers dressed like storm troopers, X-wing pilots and bounty hunter Boba Fett.

"Revenge of the Sith" chronicles Anakin Skywalker's transformation from hero to villain Darth Vader. The film may be the darkest chapter in the "Star Wars" story, featuring more violence and a story line showing how a democratic government turns into a despotic regime.

The film is the first in the series to have a PG-13 rating. Cagle said it deserves it.

"I don't want to give a lot away, but people with kids should know there is a character that is burned very badly," he said. "That's graphic violence."