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Wednesday, November 18, 1998 Published at 20:08 GMT


Star Wars trailer sets cinemas ablaze

Fans queue to see the trailer for Star Wars: Episode I

A long long time ago, in a galaxy not too far away, Star Wars and its two sequels became three of the most successful films made.

The BBC's Lizo Mzima witnesses the rush to see just a few minutes of the new Star Wars
And since George Lucas announced he wanted to make a prequel to the series, fans have been desperate to see what's in store.

Now fans in the US and Canada are queuing round the block just to view the two-minute trailer for Star Wars: Episode I, which features stars including Samuel L Jackson and Ewan McGregor along with a host of computer generated characters.

[ image: Fans will have to wait six months to see the young Darth Vader]
Fans will have to wait six months to see the young Darth Vader
The film is not out for six months, but there are enough people who want to pay around $10 just to see the trailer at 75 cinemas across North America.

The film's distributors know many people only want to see the trailer - so they play it after the film as well. It has also been placed on the Internet for fans to download.

But that does not stop everybody, with some fans opting to miss out on movies such as Brad Pitt's new film, Meet Joe Black, and Denzel Washington's The Siege.

One report says two thirds of the 500-strong audience for The Siege at a Los Angeles cinema walked out after the trailer had finished.

In the US, cinema-goers will not get to see how a nine-year-old boy gets to be Darth Vader until May.

But if the fans' reaction to the trailer is anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait.

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