Devoted Star Wars fans Joe Lack and Rob Paine are expecting quite a show tonight. They’ve spent the last four days camping in anticipation for the end of the first trilogy. “I think we’re in for quite a movie,” Lack said.
Lack and Paine have been away from their homes and their beds since Saturday. Lack, who works at the Olive Garden, was able to get the last five days off work. Paine, a student at Whitworth, skipped school in order to camp outside the Riverpark Square Mall that houses the AMC Theater. “I just missed my finals, and I have a late paper, but I’ll be alright,” Paine said.
Paine is an Art, History and Education major.
The theater is having a special midnight showing tonight for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith directed by George Lucas.
Black and Paine said that they decided to campout “because it’s cool,” Lack said.
“It’s the last Star Wars movie,” Paine added.
“When Return of the Jedi came out, hundreds of people waited in line to see it,” Lack said.
Saturday night Lack and Paine slept outside the mall in sleeping bags. Sunday, due to rain, Lack and Paine opted to sleep in their cars parked next to the mall. “If the reviews were bad, we would still have camped out,” Lack stated.
“We probably wouldn’t have come as early if it would’ve gotten bad reviews,” Paine said.
Paine stated that the third installment of the prequel trilogy is supposed to have the longest fight scene in Star Wars. “The other two were just sort of a lead in,” Paine said.
“I liked the first two, but like everyone else, I still complained,” Paine said.
“If you just kind of look at them to tell a story, you get to see how everything was and how it turned bad,” Lack said.
“Well, pre-Darth Vader rolling around on the ground with his girlfriend, that’s kind of hard to take,” Paine finished.
“People don’t understand that these are independent movies. He (Lucas) pays for all of it himself,” Paine said.
“Which he can, he’s got more money than the Vatican. He’s got bean bags, sleeping bags,” Lack said.
“It’s an empire,” Paine said.
“And we love all of it,” Lack added.
Both 23-year-olds said that everyone’s been cheering them on. “They’re probably in their cars laughing at us, but they probably want to be here too,” Lack said.
Paine said that they’ve had numerous police officers drive by and look at them. “One night this cop just drove by and rolled down his window and nodded at us,” Lack said.
“Somebody brought us pizza,” Paine said.
Seth Hurley, General Manager of Rocky Rococco’s, delivered a pizza to the two fans on Monday. Hurley, who’s been a fan of Star Wars for almost 30 years said, “I saw them burning candles in effigy to the final Star Wars, so we made them a pizza and gave it to them. We even drew a bust of Darth Vader on the inside of the box.”
Hurley is also planning to attend the midnight showing at AMC Theaters and plans to bring his lightsaber.
“The midnight showings are just so much more exciting,” Lack said.
“I sat next to Darth Maul at the first installment, and I had a lightsaber fight with a kid dressed like Anakin,” Lack added.
Paine and Lack are both sad that the saga will soon be over but said that it will be interesting to see the end of the story.
Neither are planning to dress up. “I just have my saber here clipped to my belt,” Paine said.