Saturday, 13 August 2011

A Few Years Ago In A Cinema Not Too Far Away - Part The Last

I was going great guns, writing down names and feeling pretty damn good about myself when suddenly a face popped up and I knew it but I could not name it. Instead of just forgetting about it and moving on, my brain fixated. This was it, I was stuck and I sat with there with the pen hovering above the page as all the other faces rapidly drained out of my mind. That one face was still stuck there as the time ran out. I knew it was all over, I could just tell and, yes, the final tally came back and I had achieved third place.

(Oddly, enough, I can't remember who the character was that I got stuck on. You'd think that it would be burned on my memory as The Character Who Lost Me The Comp but nope. Not a clue. Can't remember it at all.)

Still, once of the rest quiz played out, I took comfort in the fact that I would never have reached first place anyway - I just didn't know the answer to the winning question. My viewing with George Lucas was just not to be. Once I realised that I had no chance of winning, I was actually pretty pleased that I'd ended up third. Sure, it would have been rather splendid to step onto the red carpet for the premiere but the marathon screening of all six films sounded like much more fun. And indeed it was...

It was a long old Star Wars-y day. It started at around 7:30 in the morning and didn't finish until around 22:30. We were back to Leicester Square for the screenings and, upon our arrival, discovered that it had been completely Star Wars-ified. Huge Star Wars character banners were festooned everywhere with a large screen in the middle of the Square showing Star Wars clips set to music, all dominated by a full-size replica X-Wing surrounded by Stormtroopers.

Upon closer inspection, we noticed that one of said Stormtroopers was of a smaller stature than the others; a fact of which he was fully aware. "Go on, say it," came the resigned voice from beneath the helmet as a fanboy, who thought himself an original wit, began to eye the trooper up. "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?" came the expected remark. And thus had a day of extreme geekery begun.

The films were being shown in production order (i.e. original trilogy first followed by the prequels) so that the day culminated in a screening of Episode III at the same time as the premiere across the Square. The cunning plan to make sure that people went along to all six and didn't just rock up for the new one was that you had to get your ticket stickered as you went in for each film - only those with a full ticket got to see Ep III.

The organisers had another cunning plan to ensure that everyone stayed awake for all six films - free Red Bull. I don't know if you've ever spent a whole day drinking can after can of highly caffeinated energy drink but I can't say that I would wholeheartedly recommend it as a lifestyle choice. As someone who doesn't drink tea or coffee, that much chemically charged caffeine drink was beginning to do strange things to me. By the time Episode III rolled around, my eyeballs were vibrating so fast, I could see into other dimensions.

There was another reason for excitability at this point - we were about to receive an intro by the producer and a couple of the stars who arrived flanked by a phalanx of Stormtroopers and a bloke in Darth Vader outfit. Excitement turned into full-blown caffeinated hysteria, however, when an audience of indoctrinated Star Wars fans who'd spent 11 hours watching the films and drinking Red bull were presented with the beardy Force-master himself, Mr George Lucas, who popped over from the main premiere to give us a few words (and to tell us we were seeing it first because he was doing this before his intro to the main premiere - result!)

So, it may have not have been the private screening but I did go to a premiere of a Star Wars film with George Lucas there. Alright, I didn't get jetted off to Skywalker Ranch but it was a unique event and a pretty fine culmination of a lifelong Star Wars obsession. Now I just need to find a way to start getting myself invited to exclusive Doctor Who screenings...


Pearl said...

We have a show here in the U.S. called "Cash Cab", where you get in a cab in NYC and it turns out to be a rolling game show, questions worth money and becoming increasing more difficult/worth more money as the trip progresses.

I kick ass on that show.

On my couch.

And I've always wondered: If you are bright, if you know the answers, could you be in the "live" situation and become seized up?

You're saying the answer is "yes". And I believe you.

Still! Third place! Why the hell not, huh?!

And Red Bull? Oh, no thank you. All the jittery vibrations of cocaine without the sex. :-)


jenny_o said...

So I was picturing sitting for fifteen hours in a row and thinking that was ripe territory for a fatal blood clot, but when you stated it makes your eyeballs vibrate I realized it must do that to a person's blood vessels too ...

Awesome story. I think it would be way more fun to watch surrounded by other fans than with George Lucas alone. Sorry, Mr. Lucas.

jenny_o said...

And by "it" of course I mean Red Bull :)

That Baldy Fella said...

Pearl - Yeah, it's a different story with the lights and the cameras and the people...

Oh, I'm pleased with my third place - it was a great day out!

jenny_o - They threw us out after every film so we had to walk around a little bit at least (an extremely minimal amount, I assure you). Glad you liked it!