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Last Updated: Thursday May 19 2005 09:10 GMT

Worldwide opening for Star Wars

Fans queuing for the midnight use their lightsabres
Star Wars fans are bracing themselves for the sixth and final episode of the story, which opens in UK cinemas and around the world on Thursday.

Revenge of the Sith is predicted to smash box office records and some fans have already attended midnight screenings of the film.

In the US, fans bought a record number of advance tickets, with some queuing for 19 days to be first in line.

Episode III concludes 28 years of the space saga, which began in 1977.

The opening of the film brings to an end a week of Star Wars celebrations across the world.

Star Wars fans dress up for the premiere of Star Wars in Sidney in Australia
Star Wars fans dress up
On Sunday the movie received its European premiere at a star studded bash at the Cannes film festival.

And on Monday, Leicester Square in London hosted a day of celebrations devoted to the film. There, 1,300 dedicated fans watched all six films back to back, ending in a preview screening of the latest instalment.

The day kicked off with a parade by the 501st UK Garrison of Stormtroopers around the square.

Celebration day

And throughout the day special events were put on for fans, including public interviews with actors Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels and Jeremy Bulloch.

Around 5,000 Star Wars fans then crammed into the square on Monday night for the UK premiere of the final instalment, Revenge of the Sith.

George Lucas made an appearance and thanked fans for turning up despite the rain.

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