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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 May, 2005, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Star Wars queue fever spreading
Star Wars fans
Some fans got dressed in Star Wars costumes to join the queue
Three hundred Star Wars fans have begun queuing outside a New York cinema to be among the first in line for the 19 May opening of the saga's final film.

Fans from 22 US states and nine foreign countries, including Japan, Peru and Brazil, came together outside the city's Ziegfeld cinema on Saturday.

The event follows another street vigil begun in Hollywood on 2 April.

Episode III - Revenge of the Sith will complete a three-film prequel to the three original Star Wars films.

The series, made by director George Lucas, has generated nearly $3.4bn (1.5bn) at the global box office and an estimated $9bn (5bn) in retail sales since the first film appeared in 1977.

Star Wars queue, 2 April 2005
Fans in Hollywood have been waiting since 2 April

Though excited at the prospect of a new Star Wars film, many of the New York fans, who have vowed to stay standing up, were also sad that the series was coming to a close.

"It's kind of bittersweet; it's the last one which makes it more emotional," said Chris Bergoch, one of the people in the line.

"You want to look forward to the movie, but then again you almost don't want [to] since there won't be another one again."

The fans' time in the queue is also helping to raise money for the children's charity Starlight Starbright.

Sponsors contribute a sum to the charity for every hour that each participant spends in line.

Around $33,000 (17,000) was raised in similar lines formed in New York before Star Wars movie premieres in 1999 and 2002.

Despite mixed reviews for the past two Star Wars releases, global anticipation for the final instalment is expected to grow.

Director George Lucas has said Revenge of the Sith is darker and more emotional than previous Star Wars films.


SEE ALSO:
Fan's log: Star Wars queue
28 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
'Wrong queue' for Star Wars fans
07 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Star Wars day sold out in minutes
25 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Star Wars to become new TV series
26 Apr 05 |  Entertainment


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