Prequel Appreciation Day ROTS Memories!

Thanks to all who participated! I will only use screen names and/or first names in deference to privacy.

Eric: Went to Celebration 3 in April, watched film in May, countless rewatches since, 10th anniversary party tomorrow night.

Nelson: it is to date the only star wars movie ive seen on the big screen, in Gresham there was a place called mt.hood theater which played movies a few weeks before they came out on DVD (this was 2005 before blu ray i feel old now) it was September, i saw the 3d re release of phantom menace but i dont think that counts. watching the bonus material on how they made episode 3 was what inspired me to want to be involved in movies

Scott: saw ROTS with my wife, who had given birth to our son just a few weeks before. We went with my father(who took me to see ROTJ in 1983) my Mom stayed home to watch the baby! It was a midnight screening at our local “cineplex” which had been converted from an old medium size home improvement store. It boasted “stadium seating” which was really a very low rise stair step arrangement at the approximate angle of a conventional movie theater. The picture quality was ok except the film stopped in the middle of the “Duel of the Heroes!” It was a melancholy experience due to the subject matter but also because I thought it was the “last” Star Wars film. Was proud to be born in 1977 and liked that my son was born in 2005.

Raymond: It was awesome seeing Revenge Of The Sith in 3D last month at Star Wars Celebration !!!

Candy: I saw Revenge of the Sith at the Irvine Spectrum midnight showing. The fan costumes were plentiful and incredible. It was a rowdy crowd (the best kind) and the fans provided scads of unofficial preshow entertainment. There were at least two lightsaber duels going on (one with a VERY convincing Masked Vader), and when one optimistic Jedi wannabe got up to remark on how much love he felt from the audience because the Light Side of the Force was so strong, he was (playfully) booed, and the whole theater chanted “SITH! SITH! SITH!”

There were cheers and laughs during the start of the rescue on the Invisible Hand, and at least a dozen ‘whoas’ when Dooku lost his head. Many audible gasps sounded over THAT SCENE with the younglings, and applause broke out when Yoda slammed those Royal Guards against the wall. And I know I wasn’t the only one crying at the end of the movie – several of us were doing that awkward sadness-clapping combination after Vader’s first mechanical breath.

It was hands-down the best movie screening I’d ever attended, although the 3D screening at Celebration came damn close. The Digital Stage hall was packed, and we got to see Dennis Muren and Ian McDiarmid before the screening. The Muren-supervised 3D was breathtaking, like the movie had always been in 3D. But the best part was, the audience was TOTALLY into it, cheering and joking and crying, just as it had at that midnight showing 10 years ago. Simply put, we love this movie.

(Click below for more…)

Ηρακλης Σταυρακομαθιακουδακης: vividly remember 9 scenes/thoughts/reactions of mine:
1) I remember me & everyone else gasping and sinking in our sits when the 2 eta2s dived-down in the opening sequence

2) The ruminations scene surprised me to the point of weeping; such a unique scene in SW!

3) Everytime since then, when i watch Obi&Ani saying goodbye, i expect a hug from Obi to Ani; don’t know why…

4) Order 66 i was in tears! +Boga rules!Favorite creature in SW!

5) Anakin walking in the council room where the kids were and lighing-up the lightsaber shocked me! I really didn’t expect Lucas would go there (and i am glad he did go there, destroying my fears of him making Vader a glorified caricature of evil)!

6) Palpatine declaring the Empire speech gave me chills.It still does every time!

7) Immolation scene…i was extatic & in tears…just perfect!

8) Padme’s funeral and that focus in the end…you know what i’m talking about…

9) I still think this everytime…Why the frak do cinemes here have the sound volume so low? It’s SW! Turn it up to 11!
BTW, 4K digital projectors in cinemas have only appeared in my country during the past 2 years. Saw Avengers:AOU and the image quality is insane compared to old film-reels! I wish the saga is released again in theaters so i can watch it with the quality of image…sigh…

Karmey: I will never forget. Watching the movie for the first and plus..I couldn’t take my eyes of Hayden xx

Penny: Thursday 19 May 2005 arrived late at the late night showing of ROTS at the ODEON Leicester Square and the first dialogue I hear on entering the stalls is “Always on the move!” as Anakin exits the lift on the Invisible Hand.

I stood for a moment dripping wet and laughing as I’d left Ewan McGregor 10 minutes earlier after speaking to him outside the Piccadilly Theatre following his first night as Guy Masterton in Guys and Dolls.

Martin: I watched the Midnight Screening on May 18th 2005, 11 pm in germany. With comercials and all that stuff the movie started around 11:30 pm. I started to wheep just as the Opening Crawl was flying through space. THIS was the moment I realized the waiting was over, the SAGA was finished. All those great years before, the antizipation, the trailers, all was over (so far). I went through the motions watching the movie, cryed, laughed, chuckeld. When Padme was telling Anakin that he was breaking her heart I was an emotional mess. At the end the whole cinema was quiete, it was very emotional and melancoly. I still to this date rate it my #1 cinema experience.

Terri: Seeing it opening day, loving Obi and Ani’s relationship, crying when he fell. Amazing how even knowing it was coming there was no bracing oneself. And horror over the younglings.
…my only rough moment was getting IN the theater. I’d gone next door to buy the novelization and they wouldn’t let me in with the bag. A clear see thru bag. (Paranoid much? What do you think it is, invisible food or an invisible bomb?)

Russell: I was still in the Navy at the time. My ship was at sea on opening day. But we pulled back into homeport (Norfolk, VA) the next morning. I think I made up for missing opening day with the fact that I ended up seeing this movie six or seven times that weekend. That movie was all I cared about that weekend!

Jeff: I saw it on an UltraScreen with family and friends. We didn’t wait in line too long, thankfully. From the opening crawl (of course), and war drums which herald the space battle to the moving binary sunset at the end, I was full of mixed emotions. Excitement, sadness, joy… but overall I had a great time!

Mark: My favourite memory of seeing the film would be travelling to Las Vegas with my lifelong pal Paul, as I did with The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones and seeing a midnight showing at the Showcase next to the MGM Grand. The atmosphere was electric, the crowd were pumped and ready to visit the galaxy far, far away for one last time and as we all know the film nailed it.

I probably won’t be doing Vegas for The Force Awakens, given it’s December release and UK premier, but I’ll always have very fond memories of seeing Sith and the prequels in Sin City!

Linda: Attended the midnight showing (actually TWO showings back to back – first showing including one more Pelleritos, one of my twin boys) of the premiere of Revenge of the Sith at the (sadly now defunct) Studio 28 Theater in Grand Rapids Michigan. Joe (one of my twins) and Mike (eldest son) and Mike’s “Little Brother” in terms of the Big Brother organization (which is sooooooo cool, pairing boys without fathers or older brothers with those who volunteer to be same) Ben (isn’t it ironic, cue Alanis M.). With the exception of Joe, we stayed for a 2nd back-to-back showing. I was freaking mesmerized! But before that – the local media tv station spotted my lightsaber, asked to borrow it and who then did a live presentation with the “tv personality” trying to do his best Anakin Skywalker… AS IF! So….when the fanfare went up, the focused their cameras on me who was already feeling it…

(Linda also sent pics and video, which I’ll post soon separately)

Jackson: The spring of 2005 was a very pivotal time in my life, when I was first introduced to Star Wars. I remember it very well: I was seven years old. My little brother and I had been riding around in the back seat of the car for hours, while mom ran a bunch of errands. She could tell we were getting hungry, so we went for some fast food. I ordered a Kids’ Meal from Burger King. I was used to getting just chicken nuggets, French fries, and one of those cheap toys that always came with the meal.

As soon as I opened the bag, I started digging into the food. But, the toy was confusing me. It looked like just a wadded mash of brown fur. I opened the plastic seal, and began observing it. It had eyes, a pinkish nose, tiny teeth, and a little shoulder strap. I was fascinated with the strange object, so I asked my mom if she knew what my furry toy was. She said that it had a name: Chewbacca. It was part of a movie called Star Wars. Our local Burger King had Kids’ Meal toys inspired by ‘Revenge of the Sith’.

I still didn’t quite get it, though. So, for the half-hour car ride it took to get home, our mom told us a tale of two men named “Skywalker” who lived a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. My brother and I were captivated hearing about Death Stars, Jedi Knights, podracers, droids, Sith Lords, and all kinds of fascinating things! I was convinced that no one could just “make-up” such a rich and deeply-woven story. Our mom surprised us by saying that she had every movie (except Episode III) on DVD at home.

Best weekend ever…

First, we watched ‘A New Hope’ on Friday, considering that it was the first movie SHE saw. On Saturday, we watched ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’. We were a little confused as to why Episodes IV-VI were made before Episodes I-III, but we weren’t going to complain. On Sunday, we watched ‘The Phantom Menace’ and ‘Attack of the Clones’. I noticed that, as each episode went on, a lot of new themes (like good/evil, politics, war, etc.) were becoming more and more complex. And I was loving every second of it!

Our parents decided that we weren’t quite old enough to see ‘Revenge of the Sith’ yet, but that only made the anticipation that much more fun! This movie series was taking every imaginable genre and mashing it together into one big and rich tapestry worthy of storytellers from ancient times. I didn’t really know that at the time, but I knew that Star Wars was something special. It become my guiding Force throughout my childhood (no pun intended). By the time I was ready to see ‘Revenge of the Sith’, my brother and I were some of the happiest Star Wars fans imaginable. And, while heartbreaking, the movie would of course exceed our expectations!

Flash forward several years, and we’re still happy Star Wars fans. We watched the entire ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ series, and became dedicated fans for life! We’ve moved around a lot, from city to city, but Star Wars has remained with us.

If it wasn’t for that stuffed-Chewbacca I got in a Kids’ Meal so many years ago, I don’t know where I’d be. But, I’d like to think that I would have found my way to Star Wars one way or another. Or maybe, it would find me! Anyway, I continue to recommend George Lucas’s insightful saga to any new friends I meet. And the lessons I’ve learned from his epic tale have turned me into the remarkable person I am! I have no “favorites” among the Star Wars movies. I love them all!

The Tragedy of Anakin Skywalker is able to illustrate how a man finds his way to the dark side, and the Adventure of Luke Skywalker details how a man finds his way to the light side. The storytelling theme of the balance between good and evil remains an absolute favorite of mine! Whenever I watch another movie, or read a different book, I find ways to relate it to the story of Star Wars. That’s the importance of good stories: they enlighten us to rest of the world. And I believe that Star Wars does this better than anyone!

ME Sharp: Ten years ago I was really excited for the new Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith.

I always liked Star Wars, but I really liked the previous film, Attack of the Clones. My Mom agreed it would be one of my belated birthday presents, my birthday is on the 20th. The day after Revenge of the Sith’s release which I thought was cool. I still do by the way, anyway a few days after school got out my Mom took me to see ROTS and at the new theater in town, Hollywood 10. Also this was my first time seeing Star Wars on the big screen.

I loved it. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember the opening crawl. I remember Palpatine and thought it was cool to see him use a lightsaber. I remember everyone laughing when Yoda thew the Red Guards against the wall. I remember being sad when Vader choked Padme and later when she died.

That summer after school I went home and watched the rest of the Saga which drove my family crazy. LOL

Jenmarie: Before Attack of the Clones was released I knew everything you could possibly know about the film. I loved it,
but nothing, and I mean nothing, came as a surprise to me because of how much I spoiled myself prior to seeing
it. I wanted Revenge of the Sith to be different and decided to remain spoiler-free as much as possible. I also
had met my future husband in line for AOTC. We exchanged email addresses and wrote each other every day. We had
only seen each other a few times in between movies so seeing him again for ROTS was amazing! We, along with many other of our friends and family met in line in a extremely large parking lot that was reserved for fans to wait for the midnight showing. I had never seen that done before! People had spent the night so there were tents everywhere and it was like one big camp of Star Wars fans waiting to see the film! This is when midnight showings were cool. You know, before they started doing them for every single movie in existence. We had light saber battles, played games, met other people in line and took lots of photos. It was definitely a celebration! Seeing the actual film was incredibly emotional for me. I never, not once, expected that Anakin’s main undoing would be his intense fear of Padme dying. I remember just sitting there after the film ended with tears streaming down my face. Everything from Anakin force choking Padme to the end result of the battle between Master and Apprentice was so dark and utterly shocking to me. It finally completed Vader’s life story and made his choice to do the right thing it ROTJ all the more powerful. I saw ROTS the very next day and many times after that. Although it’s the hardest of the movies to watch, it’s one of my favorites because it has some of the best and most emotional scenes between our favorite characters. Thanks, Lazy Padawan, for giving us the chance to reflect back on our memories of seeing ROTS!

Adam: 2005 was a whirlwind year for me. The end of High School and the beginning of college.

And, after years of waiting, Revenge of the Sith.

2005 was the Year of Star Wars. Burger King had their saga collection toys (of which I still have quite a bit, including the much sought after Vader with Anakin inside). I started collecting the action figures again after the disappointingly posed AotC lines. I got Racer Revenge and the game of the film with the lightsaber fight minigame.

As for the film itself? I saw it three times in the theatres.

The first was with my father and grandfather. We were all blown away, and they both came out of the theatre feeling like they were back in 1977 they said.

The second was with my mother, though I have no specific memory of that.

The third was on my senior trip to the Poconos. I remember vividly spending most of my time unlocking racers in Racer Revenge because I had forgotten my memory card and wanted everyone to have full options – unaware that nobody else cared. Everyone saw movies the next day, and I had to see Sith again. I was the last one out and so psyched I bought a General Grievous figure at the next Wal-Mart we stopped for supplies in.

It wasn’t until the year ended that my Dark Period began, when I finally saw the full extent of the hatred and couldn’t really argue much against it. But the summer of 2005 was the closest repeat to the summer of 1999 for me.

Oh, and the germ for my current love of Hayden Christensen’s performance as a whole may have started with being pleasantly surprised by his character turns during Sith.

Steve K: Well to begin with I was there in 1977 when it all started. I saw A New Hope at our local independent theater which by the way is still open. I wasn’t much of a movie goer by the time 2005 rolled around in fact I hadn’t been to the movies since Star Trek VI. I of course got all the Star Wars home video releases but wasn’t in full on fandom mode real life being what it is.
I remember watching the Star Wars Clone Wars micro series and being somewhat annoyed that it started off with only two to three minute episodes if you forgot or went for a snack you missed it. It was good though as a lead up to the movie I started to get more interested as time went on. Even did the five episode marathon a month or so before ROTS debuted.
I remember my wife got us the tickets to go and that day we bought the desk that I’m sitting at right now. I built the desk and we got ready to go to an afternoon show I believe it was the weekend after the premiere. For some reason I remember watching TV as my wife made final preparations and The Shining was on but not for long that movie always creeped me out.
So we get to the theater grab the prerequisite snacks and head in. Sitting two rows back and the fanfare hits followed by the crawl. War!….and then I remember being blown away by the Battle of Coruscant and everything that followed. Seeing Anakin battle Obi-Wan completing the circle as someone would say brought it all together. Loved the entire movie as did my wife who isn’t much of a sci-fi fan and as they say the rest is history.
Revenge of the Sith reignited my fandom to new heights. I began following things online and really getting back to being that wide eyed thirteen year old sitting in the Roxy Theater a long time ago. As a side note as 2005 unfolded little did I know work had begun on a certain animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars that would kick my fandom to even greater heights and result in me becoming a Mindless Droid. Thanks for the opportunity to share my story keep up the great work and may the force be with you.

horsescientist: The memories start with the Vanity Fair cover in Feb. I remember thinking everybody is on this cover! This is so cool and I have the first piece for my new scrapbook! With each subsequent magazine and newspaper article I collected, the sense that the saga is coming full circle grew stronger. This sense of completion was mixed with sadness and dread. I had been become attached to Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them yet.

Besides the articles, there was the return of the massive Star Wars displays in the toy section at Wal-Mart: new figures, new vehicles, and the new puzzles! I loved collecting the opening sequence left me breathless- stunning & amazingly fun. Most of the rest time, I was in tears. ROTS still makes me cry more than any other film in the series (and that is the reason why I don’t watch it as often as the other films). By the end of the movie, as sad as I was, I applauded like everyone else in the theater: this was the perfect conclusion to the Star Wars Saga. And each successive viewing only confirmed that!

Jedi_Tempest: In May 2005, I was almost finished with my sophomore year of high school and second season of JV baseball. Every day at school, my friends would talk about Star Wars. We suffered for months waiting for Episode III.

When the teaser was released, several of my classmates gathered around a laptop to watch it before our first class. Our teacher had to break up the group and send us to class because we kept watching it. We were late for class, but it was worth it. I recorded the trailer (with Adam Brody’s intro) on VHS when it premiered during The OC. I’m pretty sure I broke the tape after watching it too much. That was the only time I watched an episode of The OC.

My family always went to the local TC Cinema and that wouldn’t change for the Episode III midnight show. I had seen Episode I and II there years earlier. When tickets went on sale, I immediately sent my mom to buy tickets. I was freaking out the whole time because I was afraid that they would already be sold out. We bought about 15 tickets for family and friends.

In addition to the film, I was anxiously waiting for the Episode III video game. I bought it the day it was released. Baseball practice was the only thing standing in my way. I rushed to the nearest Blockbuster to buy it. I don’t remember if I completed any homework that night. I was too busy playing the game.

The night of the midnight show, several of my friends were waiting in line with me and many of my sister’s classmates were there too. I decided to bring all 12 of my lightsabers and pass them out to everyone who didn’t own a lightsaber. We had a huge lightsaber duel in the parking lot. Other people in line ran out to fight us. I found myself dueling 4-5 people at once. This was the most memorable part of waiting in line.

A little kid with a Halloween clone trooper mask asked me if he could fight with my lightsaber. I was very attached to my Obi-Wan Episode III lightsaber, but I let him use it. Instead of joining the others in the fight, he spent about ten minutes following me around and stabbing me in the stomach for absolutely no reason. Defenseless, I took back my Luke Episode VI lightsaber from someone and I fought the kid until his parents told him to join them in line.

After a few hours, the line started to move! I found my seat in the theatre. Lightsabers were glowing in every direction. I noticed some odd people wearing non-Star Wars costumes. There was a Spiderman and a guy trying to look like Darth Vader, except he was wearing a black BMX helmet and a cape. A few were dressed in Lord of the Rings hobbit costumes trying to look like Jedi.

The lights dimmed and everyone went crazy. It was perfect. Back then, I believed that no future Star Wars experience could top it. Looking back over 10 years, nothing has come close to that Episode III midnight show. Revenge of the Sith will always be my favorite Star Wars film!

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3 Responses to “Prequel Appreciation Day ROTS Memories!”

  1. M. Marshall Says:

    Funny how at the time I couldn’t recall any special memories of seeing ROTS when it first came out and now reading these stories, it’s all coming back to me. I saw it on memorial day, right after my spring college course ended. I took a friend with me to Century Theaters in Union City to see it but we had to wait for the next screening. The audience laughed when Yoda knocked out Palpatine’s guards and I’ll never forget the way they gasped when Padme said Luke and Leia’s names. The Order 66 scenes broke my heart.

    Then after the movie was finished, we got Taco Bell. I also got a phone call from my (somewhat) estranged dad who asked me what I did today. I said that I went to see Star Wars.

    He said: “That’s old!”

    I said: “No, this is a new one.”

    He said: “How many have there been?”

    Me: “Six”

    Him: “SIX!!!”

  2. lovelucas Says:

    Thanks yet again LP. I love reading all these up close and very personal reports from 2005. Such a variety and yet…..each one resonates as something I’ve felt before. Just lovely and even embracing.

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